Volume 2 of the Zhackers series picks up the next morning following the events of Volume 1. Dan, Richard and Sam, now relatively safe inside one of the university dorm towers, have to now face the loss of their friends and classmates that didn’t make it to safety.

This is an ongoing web series so expect more to develop as the story progresses. Dan, the apparent leader, finally gets hold of his parents who are in a as yet, unaffected zone. While he’s doing this, Richard, the resident computer geek, has been using as many computers as possible to download information about the outbreak. Sam, the third in the trio, has organized an ad-hoc kitchen on one of the upper floors and has a meal service going.

While ZHackers is not your ‘traditional’ zombie story in that no one has run to the mall or hit a Wal-mart and attempted to fortify it against the hordes, there is some similarity. The students, most of them that were smart enough to know to seek shelter, have fortified one of the dorm towers. What sets this apart from other stories within this genre, the survivors have quarantined anyone who was injured on a different floor and locked them inside a dorm room. If they don’t turn, then they’re ok. But, it soon becomes apparent when Dan and Rich go downstairs to check on the people they left in charge of monitoring those rooms, that events have transpired. What they discover is that everyone they locked in the rooms has turned. Those that they left in charge thought that they were doing something helpful and ‘assisted’ some of the potential infected into the afterlife. This assistance led to unfortunate results and the remaining survivor of the that group takes a header out the window after confessing to Dan and Richard what he and the others have done.

Shaken, Dan heads back upstairs and forms an idea to get some kind of leadership going for those that remain. Dealing with limited rations, students that have health issues and a small group that want to head out on their own, Dan, Richard and Sam start to form a leadership infrastructure that they hope will ensure the survival of those that remain inside the tower.

While this is a different type of story set within a zombie outbreak, there are some little things that struck me as odd. Its only a matter of time before the utility service goes out so instead of saving information to a hard drive, print it. There is also the whole cooking meals using microwaves and other methods. When the power goes out, so does that convenience not to mention whatever is in the dorm refrigerators. This is addressed by Dan a little bit in the story by him offering up some alternative methods but those methods need to be implemented as soon as possible and not spend a lot of time in committee. Sure, forming some kind of leadership committee is great, but, realistically, get it done and get it done as soon as possible.

Overall, ZHackers Volume 2 starts to put events into perspective for the students inside the dorm tower. Dan, Richard and Sam are faced with several issues that need to be addressed and very soon. I’m waiting to see how the next installment of this series goes as its very entertaining.

About J.R. Jackson

James ‘Remo’ Jackson is a former US Navy Chief Petty Officer who received the nickname ‘Remo’ from a service buddy not from the popular Destroyer series of action novels. With a few non-fiction works to his credit, short manuals and procedural text books, he is currently a roving reviewer for buyzombie.com.While in the service he developed an interest in the zombie/horror genre and was disappointed at the lack of novels and films that contained realistic and accurate military action. This inspired him to create his own zombie apocalyptic novel that is currently an ‘epic’ work in progress that has a military thematic element to it.A certified wilderness/outdoor survival instructor and disaster mitigation educator, he can normally be found outdoors teaching clueless people the fine art of survival in less than pristine conditions.