[work in progress]In various places online and off, John Ringo has mentioned that he didn't care much for most Zombie Apocalypse fiction. So what does he do? He writes his own, of course.Black Tide Rising focuses on a Crazy-Prepared family surviving the initial outbreak (attending the last concert in Manhattan in the progress) and taking refuge on a small boat in the Northern Atlantic. After a few months, they start scavenging other vessels, clearing them of zombies and rescuing survivors, finally establishing a small, well, nation of its own, charter and all.The main characters are:
Steven John Smith: Australian born ex-soldier in the Australian Special Air Service, later a naturalized American citizen.
Stacey Smith: Steve's wife and engineer extraordinaire.
Sofia: 15 year-old daughter of Steve and Stacey, the Smart Chick.
Faith: The Action Girl. As in wearing 60 pounds of combat gear, fighting her way through entire hordes of zombies by hand, and doing all that while being 13 years old.
The supporting cast includes:
Thomas "The Train Engine" Smith: Steve's brother and security chief for the Bank of the Americas. He's the one to tip off Steve and the family about the upcoming apocalypse.
Bury Your Gays: A gay cop is introduced, given some backstory and then killed. What happens to his husband is unrevealed but considering he's in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, his chances aren't good
Chainsaw Good: During the operation to clear a cruise line ship, Faith mentions several times that she'd like to have a chainsaw available as a clearing tool, although Fontana points out some of the problems with using a chainsaw as a weapon.
Dirty Communists: What remains of the Russian government has resurrected the Soviet Union
Groin Attack: In a discussion on how to deal with infected security people aboard a cruise liner who are wearing body armor, Faith suggests a chainsaw. When Fontana points out the Kevlar armor would jam the chain, she says "come up", and makes a motion of cutting up between the legs.
Hate Plague: H7D3 ultimately turns the infected into feral, vicious non-sapient cannibalistic animals who are human only in a biological sense.
Human Resources: The fastest way of collecting large amounts of antibodies for use in a vaccine against H7D3 is to collect the fluids from the head and spine of its victims, as it only infects higher level primates. The task is done under secret conditions by Thomas Smith and some associates due to the illegality of the act.
Jurisdiction Friction: The FBI is mentioned several times as making it difficult to track down the virus, as the microbiology experts supposed to be assisting them are also the primary suspects, and the FBI's concern is more "find the guilty party" than "stop the virus". CDC staffers are particularly hostile to the FBI, thanks to how they reacted to previous events like the anthrax attack shortly after the September 11, 2001 attack.
Little Miss Badass: Faith becomes well known, both in the story and out, as being a hardcore ass-kicker, at all of 13 years old.
Not Using the Z Word: Given that zombies were previously regarded as purely fictional, the experts are initially reluctant to call victims of H7D3 "zombies", but eventually give in to the inevitable as everyone's thoughts gravitate that way anyhow.
Technically Living Zombie: The infected are still alive in the biological sense, and can starve to death if left without food for sufficiently long time, but in the mental and emotional sense no longer really qualify as human. They also hibernate to save energy.
Sanity Slippage: Faith goes a little into this after they board a yacht that was taken over by the mercenaries hired to protect it and sees the carnage that followed, killing and rape everyone there. It becomes more serious when they're clearing a cruise ship later. Oddly it's not fighting zombies that does it but what she finds after the zombies are cleared out, the horror shows in the cabins, even the ones where they find survivors. She turns Trixie, a teddy bear they found on one ship into a Companion Cube as a coping mechanism.]]
Schmuck Bait: One of the methods Wolf Squadron uses for dealing with zombies, discussed in Graveyard Sky and used in Darkling Sea, relying on the fact that zombies are attracted to noise and lights. Both done on a group level (ships holding large parties before machine gunning down zombies) and automated systems (modified cargo carriers turned into zombie shredding machines).
Synthetic Plague: H7D3 is a purposefully designed multi-stage agent that ultimately turns its victims into very aggressive humans with no real sapience, basically being little more than two-legged feral animals.
Vestigial Government: Many governments and their militaries, after the Hate Plague hits them, are almost totally destroyed, ruling only a relatively small part of their original territory.
The Virus: H7D3, also called The Pacific Virus, is man-made, and shows far more sophistication than many thought possible. It has a dualistic expression — meaning it has two viruses in one — where both sides need to be addressed for a person to be safe.
Would Hurt a Child: Many people comment on the fact they don't like killing the zombie children and while we don't see it happen the characters clean up the remains of children on occasion.