Book Review, “Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise”

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Ladies and gentlemen, Jack Flacco has done it again.

It is a tall achievement for any writer to complete, and publish, a first novel, especially when said breakout novel, Ranger Martin And The Zombie Apocalypse, delivers a thrilling, action-packed tale of already-iconic characters navigating love, life, and loss while fighting for their lives, their sanity, and their humanity in the throes and fury of a zombie-apocalypse.

It is even more amazing for said writer to follow up this breakout novel with a stellar sequel, Ranger Martin And The Alien Invasion. an eloquent second-act which takes readers by our shaking, green blood-spattered hands, and leads us deeper into both the story, and the psyches, of truck-driver-turned-apocalyptic-hero, Ranger Martin, and his ragtag, lovable band of young survivor sidekicks as they win some, lose some, and inadvertently stumble upon the actual cause of the zombie apocalypse in their travels, and travails.

(No spoilers here, but let’s just say said cause does involve aliens, military conspiracies, laughter, tears, and more in-literary-technicolor zombie-kill scenes than we post-apoc junkies can shake a machete at!)

After all this sheer awesomeness, it is nothing short of epic to cap it all off with a third novel in grand, full-trilogy style.

And that, ladies and gentlemen,  is just what author Jack Flacco has done with his third installment of the Ranger Martin series, Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise. which comes out next week, October 20th, on www.amazon.com.

In Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise, the master of mayhem has served up yet another tasty morsel to feed our insatiable hunger for the undead while bringing the readers, and our core group of now-beloved characters, Ranger, Randy, Matty, and Jon, another thrilling adventure, guaranteed to keep readers turning the pages long past bedtime.

In the span of said Ranger Martin trilogy, the makeshift soul-family of four have seared themselves into readers’ hearts and imaginations. As a writer with a real flair for character development, and a keen ear for dialogue, Jack Flacco has breathed a real life and depth into the characters of Ranger, Randy, Matty, and Jon to such a degree that it feels as if we, the readers, have witnessed firsthand the evolution of these four characters, as they morph from scrappy survivors into seasoned warriors, bearing the physical and emotional scars of veteran soldiers, fighting the good fight in a world gone mad while searching for a safe place to call home.

We, the readers, have walked the lonely miles with Ranger and his tribe of plucky youngsters… we have grown to love them as we listen to their stories, laugh at their jokes, feet their pain, and fight alongside them as they, time and time again, must tirelessly battle both undead and living foes alike in their constant struggle for survival.

We have celebrated each victory with these characters, the big ones, and the small ones…another battle won, another day alive, a lucky meal or a place to sleep for the night, and we have cried, grieved alongside them as they must struggle through another loss…the loss of another friend, another family member, another ally, another dream.

It is a testament to Flacco’s skill as a writer that he manages to create two parallel journeys for our gang of main characters in the Ranger Martin series to embark upon, each one as harrowing as the other.  On one hand, we have the journey of Ranger and the kids through the hellish, apocalyptic world around them, a world filled with death, horror, and unspeakable evil.

On the other hand, we have the equally fraught, terrifying emotional world within each character, as he or she must grapple with the terror of allowing others in, to risk opening their hearts, and feeling love for another, when the reality of the times poses a constant danger that any of them, at any time, could be killed at a moment’s notice.

It is a choice that each character in the Ranger Martin must make, and this wrenching issue is at the emotional heart of each book of the Ranger Martin trilogy:

Is it worth the pain of opening up, of loving another, if that person could be yet another loved one that is taken, cruelly, away by the savagery of this new world order?

There is no safety, any more…or, is there? 

With the air of one who has done it many times before, Jack Flacco ups the ante on himself once again. As the plot unfolds in Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise,  Ranger and his tribe’s journey west to reestablish their home base in Arizona transforms into a much bigger quest upon discovery of a legend, and a map, pointing the way to a place called “Paradise,” a safe, peaceful, non-militaristic haven nestled inside a fortress located in the San Francisco Bay area.

Through an exacting attention to detail, and an ability to craft scene after scene of dizzying plot twists and epic battles with the “sons of rot” and the “deranged draggers”, Flacco weaves another rich, riveting tale as we, the readers, ride shotgun along with Ranger and his crew, as they decide their next course of action.

Is Paradise real, or just a dream? Or, is it another trap? Is the chance of finding a safe haven from the hordes of flesh-eaters worth taking the risk, when it could cost them their very lives?

Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise is a wild ride, a tour-de-force that will stay with a reader long after he/she reads the final sentence of the final chapter.

In Jack Flacco’s blog site, www.jackflacco.com, Jack’s Warrior Wednesday posts honor a different man, woman, or child each week who isn’t afraid kick butt, take names, and make the world a better place in general.

If I may, I’d like to nominate this man, writer Jack Flacco, to be today’s Wednesday Warrior (in addition to his pick for today, Bryan Mills, played by Liam Neeson in Taken).

Author Jack Flacco

Author Jack Flacco

In addition, I would like to raise a glass, and a cheers, to Jack Flacco, on an epic trilogy, and on behalf of barnfullawalkers, I would like award him a Deadie, a twisted trophy of highest honor in this realm of the world.

Kudos, and congratulations, Jack Flacco. Once again, you are an inspiration to writers everywhere.

Do yourself a huge favor and check out Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise, available at www.amazon.com on October 20th!

In the meantime, enjoy the playlist. 🙂

In Search of Paradise Playlist:

Kurt Vile, “Pretty Pimpin”

The Offspring, “Gotta Get Away”

Potty Mouth, “Cherry Picking”

The Dead Weather, “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)”

Bikini Kill, “Rebel Girl”

The Motels, “Only The Lonely”

Guns N Roses, “Paradise City”

2 thoughts on “Book Review, “Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise”

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