Tuesday, May 29, 2012

VBT: Review and Giveaway: Zombie Night in Canada: First Period by Jamie Friesen

Zombie Night in Canada: First Period (goodreads.com)
By: Jamie Friesen (author website)

eBook, 334 pages
Published February 29th 2012 by Smashwords
ISBN 13: 9781465946041
Source: Tour, for the purpose of an honest review
Genre: Zombie Apocalypse
Series: Zombie Night in Canada, book #1
Stars: 2

Zombie Night in Canada: First Period has it all. There is constant action, fighting and survivalism to the extreme. Readers are taken on a journey where they see how this pandemic goes from one individual at a hospital to a complete of society. We are given the points of view from law enforcement officials, military personnel, city officials, and a very clever hockey player.

I liked the way the chapters were split up. Readers are given worldwide updates periodically. This books setting is Canada, but the global updates were nice touches. I also enjoyed reading snippets of the people who did not make the wisest decisions when the world was crumbling around them. The character that this tale follows the closest are the ones who are making intelligent decisions, so for a brief moment I was left wondering where the panicking people were.  

This is one of those books that is hard to rate. I didn’t hate the book, the writing is fine, the plot is solid, and I just never connected with any part of it. The story never grabbed me and held my attention. None of the characters seized my attention to the point that I am curious about where the author will take them with the next book. There was not anything present that makes me curious enough to move on to the next book in the series. I really hate that. I love some zombie apocalypse in my books.

 Be sure to click the below banner to check out the other blogs participating in the tour.

Jamie is giving away an eCopy of Zombie Night in Canada: First Period to only lucky follower. Just comment below with email address. I will announce the winner on June 6. He has also reduced the price at Smashwords.com (allows for all e-book formats to be purchased) for blog readers:

Promotional price: $3.99

Coupon Code: CX94Y

Expires: July 1, 2012 

“Zombie Night in Canada: First Period”
By Jamie Friesen
Action, Horror, Post-Apocalyptic, Thriller


Tokyo. Sydney. Beijing. Cairo. Paris. Rome. New York. Los Angeles. One by one, the world’s great cities fell to the zombie plague. What chance does a small, non-descript city in Canada like Edmonton have?

The world as we know it is finished. Civilization has collapsed and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Billions of people are dead, victims of a horrific plague.

Bi-weekly paychecks, Tim Horton’s double doubles, men’s league hockey and cheap winter vacations to Cancun. That was the life Xander Barnes had known for years until a pandemic swept the globe. Efforts to slow its spread or develop quarantine zones, in many cases were too little, too late.

Nowadays, life consisted of avoiding the plague victims, ghouls who had an insatiable appetite for human flesh and finding enough food to survive day to day. How long can one ordinary man survive in a world gone mad?


“Gentlemen, it’s going to be a race to get to the cars, so I suggest you hurry. Larry and Greg, run to the Sheriff’s office and see if there is more ammo and maybe some working flashlights. We’ll meet you at the ramp by the fountain in one minute,” Darryl said. “If you’re not there in time, we’ll leave you behind. Got it?”

“Got it!” they echoed.

Just then the doors to the Bowker Building opened again and dozens of infected streamed out. The two groups raced off. John and Darryl reloaded as they ran and got to the stairs, hiding behind a planter filled with sub tropical plants, with the older men a dozen steps behind them. Sunlight poured in from a skylight and illuminated the area. Greg glanced out the windows and saw that the Legislative Grounds were filled with dozens more infected. When the old men had finally caught up to them, they raced down the stairs. John tossed a table onto its side and shoved all three of them behind it.

“Stay,” he ordered tersely.

Larry and Greg followed Darryl’s orders and raced into the office. Greg ran into the back room and fired his pistol twice into a locked cabinet. The lock shattered and he ripped it open, pulling out a pair of pump action shotguns. He loaded shells into each and stuffed more in his vest pockets. He stuffed several pistol magazines in as well and scrambled back out to the front office, where Larry was tearing a desk apart looking for batteries.

“I can’t find any!” Larry hollered.

“Forget the batteries, let’s get going!” Greg yelled, grabbing a jacket off a nearby chair and threw it on.

Greg tossed a shotgun to Larry and jammed the half empty box of shells into his hands. Then he tore out the door without another word. Larry pulled one last drawer open and yelled, “Jackpot!” He stuffed a couple packs of batteries into his over-sized pockets and followed Greg out the door, tossing on a heavy jacket as well. A second later, Larry heard a shotgun blast. As he ran out into the hallway, he saw Greg standing there, firing his shotgun into a huge group of infected, blood and flesh exploding from the lifeless victims.

“This way,” Larry shouted and raced for the ramp that spiraled down to the lower level. Greg followed, and they took turns, running and firing, covering each other’s back whenever possible. They made it to the bottom of the ramp and saw John and Darryl firing into a group of infected, coming down the stairs that were located at the south edge of the ramp. The premier and cabinet ministers huddled in abject fear only a few feet away.

The infected from the Bowker Building were coming down the ramp and Larry turned and fired at them. In the narrow confines of the ramp, every shot finished off several infected, but their numbers suddenly seemed limitless. Dozens, if not hundreds, poured down the ramp from the ground floor.

Darryl’s pistol’s slide jacked back as the magazine emptied. “Did you find us any ammo?” he screamed at Greg.

Greg tossed over all four of the magazines he had found. Darryl shoved one in and resumed firing. Suddenly the way was clear.

“Let’s go!” Darryl hollered.

He grabbed the premier and then both he and John raced down the tunnel towards the parking lot. The two cabinet ministers followed in their steps, with the two young sheriffs firing into the ever expanding pack of infected. A door to the Legislative Annex on their left from opened, and more infected flooded into the hallway as they ran past it.

“Sir, run for the end of the hallway!” John yelled. Charchuk and two cabinet ministers continued down the darkened tunnel.

John and Darryl stopped and fired point blank into the infected.

“Last magazine, make ‘em count!” Darryl said over the gunfire to John, as he passed him a magazine. John nodded.

“Greg, Larry, come on!” Darryl shouted, as the sheriffs were on the verge of being cut off by the host of infected flowing from the Annex. They ran backwards and stood shoulder to shoulder with Darryl and John. Natural light from three periscopes flooded the hallway with an eerie light, adding to the emergency lights mounted on high on the walls.

John and Darryl fired again and again until both were out of ammunition. Darryl’s gun clicked on an empty chamber. He glanced around, looking for something, anything to hold off the infected. He ran to several nearby display cases, marked ‘Alberta Legislature’, which had a display about the provincial government. One cabinet was stuffed with replicas of both the Legislature’s mace and several medieval-era battle maces, and he smashed the glass with butt of his pistol. He jammed the pistol back into its holster and reached into the case, pulling out a pair of wicked looking maces and leaving the gaudy, gold-painted Legislative replica behind.

He ran back to John and gave him one, then attacked the infected reaching for him with an over-handed swing. The mace came down and crushed the infected teenager’s skull, sending blood and brain matter in every direction. John emulated him and they cut a bloody swath through the infected. The young sheriffs, also out of ammunition, were now using the butt end of their shotguns like clubs to fend off the infected.

They fell back slowly, responding to any attempt by the infected to get around
them. Bit by bit, they were moving closer and closer to the parkade.


Fire lashed out from the base into the horde of approaching infected. Mortar bombs exploded over the infected heads, sending dozens of sharp razor-like fragments down into the skulls of the infected. In some cases, it killed them, in others, it was nothing more than a mosquito bite. The handful of heavy machineguns opened fire, spraying hundreds of rounds of lead into the group, each round tearing off a limb of an infected person in the front, then continuing on into the infected behind it and tearing off one of their limbs too. The heavy machineguns were so powerful that the rounds likely went through a half dozen or more infected before finally stopping. Stone thought back to his heavy weapons course eons ago and what his instructor had told him about the heavy machinegun the Canadian Forces used. 

“If you lined up six cars side by side and fired this gun, the round would go through the first eleven doors with ease and finally come to a rest inside the twelfth door. It will also go right through cinder blocks and concrete thinner than six inches.” 

He winced as he watched them fire, mowing down rows of infected. They fell below the massed fire like wheat before a scythe. Thank god he had never been on the receiving end of one of those monsters, he thought to himself. The only problem with the weapon was that they would go through their ammo in a minute or two, and then would need several minutes to refill their ammo hoppers. Sure enough, well before the horde was gone, the machineguns stopped firing. Their crews scrambled to reload as fast as possible. 

Once the mortars and heavy weapons opened up, many soldiers began firing far more rapidly and unfortunately, far more inaccurately. While the heavy weapons were unlikely to kill many infected outright, it tore them apart and knocked them down, or otherwise disabled them so that snipers could finish them off later. 

Meanwhile, Master Corporal Stone and the other marksmen continued their steady, methodical slaughter of the infected. Below him, troops at the fence had shoved their barrels through the chain links and were firing indiscriminately into the horde. The horde was huge and their bodies lay in heaps everywhere, but they kept coming like some elemental force such as the tide. 

Stone had engaged the first infected at more than five hundred metres. Now, ten minutes later, the horde was about three hundred metres away and still closing. Stone kept firing, reloading and firing until his shoulder was sore. He hadn’t fired this much in a long time. A thundering roar came from behind him and Stone glanced backwards. 

Two of the base’s Griffon helicopters had lifted off and were racing to assist the troops at the perimeter. As they did, the mortars shifted fire to the flanks of the horde and the helos flew over the fence and dropped to only fifteen feet above the ground. Both then turned broadside to the horde, and the door gunner opened fire with their miniguns, firing hundreds of rounds per minute into the horde. The miniguns fired so fast and with such ferocity that rows of infected literally melted before its onslaught, leaving gaping holes in the horde. As soon as one minigun fell silent, the pilot swiveled the chopper around 180 degrees and the other door gunner opened fire. Despite the metal rain pouring down on the horde, it never once faltered. 

To Master Corporal Stone, the horde reminded him of the ocean, uncaring and relentless in its effort to wear down the beach in front of it. Methodically, he and his fellow soldiers kept pouring fire into the faceless horde bearing down on the base. 

Soon the horde was at the anti-vehicle ditch, and one by one they toppled into it like lemmings diving over a cliff. The first few hundred crumpled into heaps of broken flesh when they hit the bottom of the trench. They were unable to stand back up, but soon other infected were landing on top of those already in the trench, and they were able to stand up, clawing and reaching for a way out. 

“The infected have reached the trench!” Stone shouted into his radio. 

“Continue firing, as per plan Foxtrot.” His radio crackled back. 

Plan Foxtrot? Stone thought to himself. What the hell is plan Foxtrot? He hefted his rifle again and resumed firing, without giving it another thought. 

Hours ago, he had noticed the half dozen fuel tanker trucks parked by the fence, but had never really paid any attention to them or the crews manning them. Hoses from each of the trucks had been hung over the fence and drooped down again into the trench. Suddenly, torrents of gasoline began to spray from each of the hoses, dousing the infected nearby. In less than a minute, there were pools of gasoline everywhere. 

Master Corporal Stone quickly understood what Plan Foxtrot was. 

Then he heard the order over the radio,” Foxtrot units, fire the trench!” 

Several men opened fire with C-9 squad automatic weapons, sending bursts of fire walking up and down the length of the trench. Within seconds, most of the infected in the trench were burning. As each burning one stumbled around, it touched others, and ignited them too. In less than two minutes, every infected in the trench was on fire, and an evil, black smoke soared skyward. The sickening stench of burning and rotting flesh filled the air. Up and down the line soldiers vomited, while those with stronger constitutions simply turned green and held their breath. Stone’s constitution was no stronger than most and he too vomited, spilling out a vile mixture of coffee and sandwiches over the side of the tower and onto the ground below. 

The fire in the trench was so hot that it consumed the infected rapidly, burning their legs out from underneath them, and plunging their torsos into a massive puddle of burning flesh, which burned even hotter as the fat in the chest cavities was incinerated by the intense heat. 

Above the trench, troops kept firing into the oncoming horde, never wavering in their efforts to prevent the infected from breaching the base perimeter. The infected were oblivious to what was occurring to those in the trench, and all kept marching lemming-style into the flames in a vain effort to reach the base. Eventually, the numbers of infected began to thin and within an hour, the only infected near the base consisted of those being roasted in the trench. 

Master Corporal Stone looked out over the expanse at the mounds of corpses, some still twitching and moving occasionally. Aimed sniper fire began to dispatch those who had survived the onslaught above ground. The fire in the trench burned for hours, and smoke poured into the sky for a day after that, as the remains smoldered. 





From Smashwords:

“...Zombie Night in Canada is a fresh breath of rotting zombie corpses and gunsmoke. It has great action, a uniquely Canadian outlook (but not too Canadian as to alienate reads who don’t hail from the great white north) and great detail and an all-round exciting story. Best zombie novel I’ve read in some time.”

“Like Zombies? Like Guns? Like Canada? This book has them all. Infected Zombies are once again on the march. The plot revolves around the events surrounding an exponential zombie outbreak as it happens to the main protagonists rather then a story where they "wake up" to a world already overrun. The book is set mostly in Canada, especially Alberta with real world locations & references and contains good specific military weapon usage to help draw you into the story. Fans of the genre will appreciate the many references to other contemporary zombie stories including what I saw as a direct homage to the Dawn of the Dead 2004 remake.”


Jamie Friesen was born in Lahr, West Germany while his father was serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He attended the University of Alberta where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History, and followed it later with a Masters of Arts in Communications & Technology. After obtaining his Bachelor's degree, Jamie went abroad and taught English in Japan and Taiwan.

He now lives in Edmonton, Canada with his wife and daughter, working in the Public Relations field and writes in his spare time, which usually translates to early mornings and lunch time.


  1. I would love to read this book about zombies. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  2. Thanks for the great post and giveaway! This book sounds awesome! Luvs me some Zombies :)


    1. When I not reading romance zombies is definitely my next favorite subject.

  3. I enjoyed your honest review. It sounds like an interesting book.


  4. Thank you for sharing with us today. I just won this intriguing read on another site and will have to compare notes :)

  5. Thank you for the review and feature, Vanessa!

  6. Sounds like a very interesting read, definitely on my to-read list. Thanks for sharing!!


  7. sound really creepy. Love them.
    Mindy Wall
    Books, Books, and More Books

  8. sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway. Gale pgan427@yahoo.com