This is the third book in author J.L. Bourne's Day by Day Armageddon series - here's links to my reviews of the first and second books. The second book, in particular, is one of my favorites - I really dug the combination of first person, journal style narrative, behind enemy lines zombie survival mixed in with high tech military hardware - Predator drones dropping bombs on zombie hordes and what not. So I've been waiting for this book, the apparent wrap up of the trilogy, somewhat impatiently for over a year.
Shattered Hourglass is a departure from the previous two books, in that it steps back from the first person, journal style that was prevalent in the first two books to a more conventional 3rd person, character-hopping book. We still get the journal perspective of the main character, Kil, but it's mixed in with the perspective of other characters - John, his tech savvy bunker mate, members of two different special ops teams, and others. It's not bad, but it lends a different feel to this book over the previous two. I would personally have preferred sticking more closely to Kil, and sending him on more adventures (he spends 3/4 of the book inside a nuclear sub), but the shift in story telling style wasn't overly jarring.
Like the previous two books, Shattered Hourglass continues the mix of zombies with military hardware and gun savvy author that has made the series so much fun. Heck, Bourne has some sort of ties to Larue Tactical, one of the top AR manufacturers in the world, and Larue 7.62 rifles get a shout out in the book and put to good use mowing down the undead. Gun nuts rejoice.
The two special forces teams introduce a new level of awesomeness not possible with a single character surviving by the skin of his teeth in the zombie wastes. The spec ops dudes are accordingly well equipped with NODS (night observation devices/night vision goggles), suppressed M4, grenades, tomahawks and overhead drone support. They're HALOing or riding Zodiacs into zombie territory on covert, high priority missions. Think one of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare games with zombies as the baddies instead of terrorists and you've got a pretty good idea on what to expect--it's a lot of fun.
My main beef with this book - the ending. It comes too soon and leaves you wanting for more. Kil arrives in China for what we expect is the epic final battle...and there's no epic final battle. For all the talk of "suicide mission," it's pretty anti-climatic. The big mystery is left somewhat unresolved, and the rest of the plot lines are quickly wrapped up in the epilogue. It seemed like the ending was rushed or the book not completely finished, which was a problem I also noted with the first book in the series.
So, there's a lot good in Shattered Hourglass, but I didn't think it was up to the quality of the second book in the series (Beyond Exile), which remains probably my favorite zombie book to date. Overall though, definitely a fun zombie blasting ride that's worth the price of admission - just over $10 on Amazon.