I can’t recommend this book. I went into it with high hopes. The author has quite a few books under his belt, and this title came with good reviews. I’m very fond of apocalyptic tales and I was looking forward to the read.
What I liked about the book: Writing style is good. Very engaging. It could use another trip to an editor due to a few typos and grammar oddities, but nothing that can’t be overlooked if one is enjoying the story.
What I did not like about this book: There were too many things in the plot that did not make logical sense. I will try to explain this without wanton spoilers, but I will speak of some plot points, so stop reading if this concerns you.
*********A few spoilers**************
The plot is a basic zombie story without enough differences to make it stand out in a crowd. The plot itself is full of things that are nonsensical. For example, early on, the zombie of a small girl in pigtails manages somehow to attach herself to the windshield of a bus. It remains unclear in the narrative how she reached it or what she clung to. She also manages to completely block the drivers sight, despite being only one small girl. Then she beats at the window until cracks appear throughout the glass. Despite this damage to the windshield, rather than breaking, it pops out as a complete piece, manages to turn itself in mid air to avoid the driver, and lands harmlessly in the aisle. In the author’s mind, perhaps this made sense, but he was not able to convey this with any believability. I almost put the book down at this point, but reviewers said that it picked up past the 1/3 mark, so I stuck with it.
Another example of convenient but unbelievable plot device. The folks are holed up in a restaurant. There’s lots of food in the freezer, but the power is already out, and the generator will only last two days. Weeks later, and they are still eating hamburger from the freezer. It’s at least six weeks. There is talk amongst the characters of finding diesel fuel to put in the generator, but it isn’t shown to happen. The characters are using candles and such and talking about the lack of power throughout the story. If the idea was that they refueled the generator only for the freezer, this is not made clear at all. It read as if they were eating rotten crap, and after weeks, it would be disgusting. But the characters don’t describe it that way, only that they are tired of hamburger.
Those are only two examples of many. Character decisions and the laws of probability and physics seemed to be for no better reason than to further the author’s plot. This is a broken world, where tiny zombies can fly, unrefrigerated meat lasts for six weeks, Glass with a million cracks doesn’t break, and men who fall hundreds of feet can survive to add conflict. What bothered me most was that the author could have justified all of these choices by taking the time to explain them, or by making more believable choices in the first place. If this author can get his plot to the level of his writing style, then I would enjoy his tales, instead of feeling cheated by them.