James N. Cook books in order
James N. Cook is an American martial arts enthusiast who proudly served in the United States Navy.
Although he also spent some time in a traditional office setting, he is recognized for his captivating works of adventure fiction and zombie apocalypse genre.
Best known for writing the Surviving the Dead series, Cook's passion for adventure and storytelling is evident in his action-packed novels, which has earned him a loyal following.
Besides writing, he enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling frequently, as he finds it difficult to remain in a single location for extended periods of time.
Residing in North Carolina, he shares his home with his beloved wife, his lovely son, two ferocious guard dogs, and a cat that seems to hardly acknowledge his presence.
Genres: Adventure, Horror
- The Hellbreakers: A Surviving the Dead Novel (2018)
- The Hellbreakers 2: Emergence (2022)
Surviving the Dead
- No Easy Hope (2011)
- This Shattered Land (2012)
- Warrior Within (2013)
- The Passenger: A supplemental reading to the series (2013)
- Fire In Winter (2014)
- The Darkest Place (2015)
- Savages (2015)
- The Killing Line (2016)
- Storm of Ghosts (2017)
- War Without End (2021)
Detailed book overview
In the desert wastelands of the American Southwest, one man stands alone.
Alexander Muir, a once-renowned professional fighter, has spent the last six years surviving the only way he knows how: on his own. In a land where the golden rule is to make allies or die, he has stayed alive against all odds.
But now, his self-imposed exile is over. In other parts of the world, those who survived the Outbreak have banded together to form militant groups with a single mission: to reclaim what is theirs.
One intrepid band, the Third Colorado Volunteer Militia, has decided to challenge a place where even the bravest fear to tread—Phoenix, Arizona.
And now, these two worlds—the barren isolation of a lone survivor and the emerging force of a fledgling government—are set to collide. Together, they will take on a challenge bigger than all of them. But in this fight, the dead are not the only danger…
For six years, against all odds, Alexander Muir survived on his own in the Arizona desert. Now, after signing on with a volunteer militia, he has found love, made friends, and discovered a renewed sense of purpose. However, all is not well in his new life.
The world is still ruled by the dead, and the living still war against each other over resources and territory. After suffering wounds at the hands of the Storm Road Tribe, Alex has his doubts about the future of the mission he has signed on for—liberating Phoenix from the undead.
Making matters worse, the reinforcements promised by what is left of the federal government turn out to be far less than promised. In fact, they send only one man.
Captain Caleb Hicks.
When Alex is recruited as a guide to help Captain Hicks track down and eliminate the Storm Road Tribe, the two men will discover a threat far greater than anything they expected.
Soon, Alex finds himself in a race against time to destroy a monster that threatens not only his life, but the lives of everyone he has grown to care for. And in the process, he will embark on a journey more dangerous and exciting than anything he has dared to imagine...
Surviving the Dead
My name is Eric Riordan. Once, I was a wealthy man leading a comfortable, easy life. Then my old friend Gabriel told me how the world would end. Gabriel tried to help me. He taught me everything he learned as a Scout Sniper in the Marine Corps. All the hard lessons from years spent in the sand choked battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. I did everything I could to prepare. I thought I was ready.
I was wrong.
When the Outbreak came, it destroyed everything. The dead rose to consume the living, and all that mankind spent so many millennia working to build was laid to waste in a matter of months. The undead spared no one, leaving only ashes and death in their wake.
For those of us still alive, every single day is a struggle. In spite of the danger, and the darkness, I still believe there is a chance that the human race can rebuild. If I can make my way North and enlist Gabriel's help, maybe we can find enough people to start over again. It won't be easy, though. I have to make my way across the ruins of the old world, and along the way my will to live, my humanity, and my very soul will be tested.
I have food, I have a pickup truck, and I have my trusty rifle. Most importantly, I have hope. Hope is a powerful thing, but I will need much more than that if I am to survive the dead.
This is the beginning. This is my story.
Eric Riordan doesn't look for trouble, but trouble has a way of finding him.
Two years have passed since the Outbreak. After joining forces with his friend Gabriel he has managed to stay alive by fleeing to the peaks of the Appalachian mountains. With supplies running low, and enemies gathering, the two survivors are forced to begin their journey west to Colorado.
Along the way they will find unexpected allies, reunite with old friends, and make deadly new enemies. As difficult as life has been, the most dangerous times lie ahead.
Nothing is ever easy at the end of the world.
There are those who do not wish for peace.
As the Free Legion declares war on the survivors of Hollow Rock, Gabriel and Eric find themselves drawn ever deeper into the growing conflict. Aided by a fledgling militia, and a small contingent of federal operatives, the two warriors must find a way to defeat an unyielding enemy that threatens to destroy all they have grown to love.
To win, Gabriel must become the leader he was born to be, while Eric, haunted by his actions since the Outbreak, must descend deeper into the heart of darkness.
In this battle, nothing is what it seems. The tides of power are shifting, and soon, a danger even greater than the living dead will rise…
During the Outbreak, like billions of others, a man finds himself infected with the Phage. Desperate to spare his family from watching him become a walking nightmare, he flees. Soon after, he is dead.
Two years later, he wakes up.
Not in the afterlife, but in his own body. Trapped, unable to control the monster that carries him, and forced to witness the horror of its existence.
A hundred miles away, Sergeant Ethan Thompson thinks he has seen the worst the apocalypse has to offer.
He is wrong.
Following the trail of a dying madman, he will embark on a journey of vengeance that will test the limits of his sanity. Along the way, he will learn that there is no justice at the end of the world. There is only the living and the dead, and in between, there is The Passenger.
NB: Co-authored with Joshua Guess, this book, which was released after The Warrior Within, is not Book 4 in the series.
It is related and some of the characters were in the first book in the series, No Easy Hope. It is more of a supplemental reading to the series.
“Before you embark on a journey of vengeance, dig two graves.” - Confucius.
With the dark cloud of civil war gathering on the horizon, Gabriel Garrett struggles to protect his new home and the new life he has just begun. But as he soon learns, a man’s past has a way of catching up with him, and Gabriel has more than his share of dark secrets.
When his world is shattered, he will walk a path of vengeance across a land where the dead hold sway, and the living count their lives in seconds. His enemy is the deadliest he has ever faced, and in this battle, there is no justice, no redemption, and no mercy.
There is only revenge.
For Caleb Hicks, survival means hiding in plain sight.
Trained from a young age to be a super-soldier, he has worked hard to keep his abilities hidden. But after a disastrous mistake forces him into military service, hiding his skills becomes increasingly difficult. To maintain his cover, he isolates himself, rarely speaking and discussing his past with no one.
After finding love in the wake of catastrophe, he will finally reveal the secrets of his childhood, his training, and the tragic events of his life following the Outbreak. Packed with intense action, thrills, and suspense, The Darkest Place is a harrowing tale of love, loss, and survival against all odds.
And ultimately, of the enduring power of hope.
Eric Riordan thought he had seen the worst the post-Outbreak world had to offer.
He was wrong.
As the Midwest Alliance puts plans in motion to touch off a civil war, Eric and a group of elite warriors are recruited to stop them. To prevent disaster, they will venture into the heart of enemy territory on an assassination mission. To survive, Eric will have to call on all his training, willpower, and strength. Because this fight will determine not only his future, but the fate of an entire nation.
And if he fails, the enemy will show no mercy.
Gabriel Garrett has faced many challenges.
The battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, the CIA, several years as a mercenary, and the end of the world among them. But now he faces a challenge none of his training, expertise, or combat experience have prepared him for—fatherhood.
With a new family and new responsibilities, Gabriel decides to leave Hollow Rock and start over in the growing city of Colorado Springs. It is here he believes he can finally leave behind the violence that has always followed him and begin a new chapter in his life. But to get there, he will have to cross the vastness of the American plains, and in a world where the dead walk the earth, no journey is ever easy.
When his caravan is ransacked, Gabriel, his stalwart friends Eric Riordan and Caleb Hicks, and his new family are forced to endure the dangers of the post-Outbreak world on their own. It is here they will face marauders, criminal organizations, corrupt government officials, starvation, and every danger the wastelands can throw at them. To survive, they will have to rely on their courage, resourcefulness, and will to fight.
And most importantly, they will have to rely on each other.
For years, exiles from North Korea, China, and Russia have terrorized the Western Seaboard of post-Outbreak America. And for years, the remnants of U.S. military forces have struggled to defeat them.
After U.S. forces cripple the enemy's ability to wage war, the North Koreans and their allies have engaged in a last ditch effort to save themselves by building internment camps where thousands of American citizens are being held hostage. They think they are invulnerable. They think they have the ultimate leverage.
They are wrong.
Caleb Hicks, Gabriel Garrett, Tyrel Jennings, and Raymond Grabovsky will join forces with patriotic troops who have spent years fighting the North Koreans to bring their reign of terror to an end. To accomplish this, they will have to utilize a secret weapon even the U.S. government has been afraid to use. Until now...a
Since the collapse of civilization, the United States government has fought hard to hold together what little is left of the nation that once was. At their epicenter of power in Colorado Springs, those who hold the reins of government believe they are unassailable.
They have no idea how wrong they are.
From out of the wastelands, a new threat has risen to challenge the powers that be. The Storm Road Tribe has discovered a devastating new weapon, and they are more than ruthless enough to use it.
In the midst of this crisis, Eric Riordan has come to Colorado Springs to welcome his second child into the world and expand his business interests. But soon after his arrival, the city is hit by a devastating attack, and he soon finds himself embroiled in the struggle to bring those responsible to justice.
As the investigation progresses, Eric and his allies learn the truth about an emerging horror that threatens not only Colorado Springs, but the entire world…