Chronicles of the Apocalypse Species
by Michael McBride
Review by Gayle Dixon
Elder Signs Press Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 097798768X
Date: 15 April 2007 List Price $17.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
I am usually game to read anything with apocalypse in the title, but perpetually stumbling zombies and occasional awkward writing made this a painful read; however, it did have some interesting plot threads.
The plot has been done before: alien life forms invade and turn almost all of humanity into zombies. These zombies are former humans with a propensity to grow strange body parts. My favorite was the high school football player who zombified. He grew horns on his head and tried to kill his girlfriend. There has to be some social comment in there somewhere on adolescent subculture, but I laughed out loud at the silliness of the image.
The main character is a child with autism caused by psychic contact with the alien life form. The autism is instantly cured when the life form makes planet fall. Trans-species communication was a fertile subject that was disappointingly left unexplored. Why the aliens are so driven to stamp out a handful of survivors when they have even vestigial communication with them is a question left completely unaddressed.
Our intrepid band of survivors battle zombies and a rough Colorado winter. The author knows his cold weather survival issues, and skillfully conveys the pain and challenges of cold and elevation.
To MacBride's credit, the characters have depth and interesting development. He gets a good case of creeps going when describing alien life forms growing inside humans or in the first minutes of realization that the zombies have arrived once again. Maybe it would make a decent zombie movie.