by David Moody
Cover Artist: Design: Lisa Marie Pompillio; Photo girl by Elisa Lazo / Arcangel Images;
photo ice from Shutterstock.
Review by Bill Lawhorn
St. Martin's Griffin Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780312570026
Date: 13 March 2012 List Price $14.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
A small group of survivors have made it to the end. Well 26 days past the end of the world. They come together and hunker down with brief forays to gather others and supplies. Once they settle down, rivalries and fears come to the fore. The groups that form may ruin the survivors' final chance to retain some semblance of society.
Alan Jackson finds Cheetham Castle early on. He slips in and joins those that have holed up there. He takes the lead and begins to organize the others. They know that they only have to last long enough for the zombies to deteriorate. The castle is up a steep hill that most zombies are unable to reach. But safety is only from direct attack.
Driver leaves his group as things begin to go wrong and escapes in search of help. His journey brings him to Cheetham, and the survivors led by Jackson. They will go to rescue the others in Driverís group. When the two groups combine, the power struggle begins.
The island of Cormansey has another group of survivors. They have cleared the island of zombies and are working to build a sustainable life. They go in search of additional supplies on the mainland.
The city of Chadwick is where the two groups of survivors meet while they both gather supplies. The Cormansey group offers safehold, but the faction led by Jas wants everyone to stay, and are willing to do whatever it takes to keep them together.
The core action revolves around people trying to find their place in the new reality. Some just coast, others look to shape the future, some just try to keep doing a bit of what they were doing before the world changes. In addition to the power struggles, new information about the zombies comes to light. This new information changes how each survivor views their future.
There are several significant time jumps that allow the world to get to the point where the zombies are no longer viable. This allows the author to skip the tedium that the survivors truly experience every day.
One thing about zombie thrillers, expect people to die and you wonít be disappointed. Not everyone is going to make it. This is a good thing because who really wants to read a story of a zombie apocalypse where no one dies. In the end there is hope, but it is not a pure happy ending.
I have not read the earlier books in this series, but I plan to now. Moody did a great job with the zombies. I like that they have an expiration date; none of this wandering around for years without ill effect. In addition, the detail made me cringe a few times, exactly what I expected.