In less than twenty-four hours a vicious and virulent disease destroys virtually all of the population. Billions are killed. Thousands die every second. There are no symptoms and no warnings. Within moments of infection each victim suffers a violent and agonizing death. Only a handful of survivors remain. By the end of the first day those survivors wish they were dead. Then the disease strikes again, and all hell breaks loose... The classic free underground novel finally bursts into the mainstream. Cold, dark, relentless and uncomfortably plausible. A Night of the Living Dead for the 21st Century. "the perfect zombie story" "nothing written in the genre has grabbed me in the same way as AUTUMN" "an equal to Romero's Night of the Living Dead"
Autumn, by David Moody is a realistic examination of the devastation and loss caused as a consequence of an all-consuming deadly illness that wipes out almost the full population of the world. The story opens with the telling of this wide spread pandemic and the fall of man, all except for a small hand-full that seem to be completely immune. Alone and suffering the devastating losses and the shock of being thrust into this new world. No idea of what to do or where they should go, eventually some survivors cross paths, sticking together they try to direct themselves and make some sense of the unfathomable situation they find themselves in.
Each of the characters Moody has created are expertly constructed and are not the typical characters you come across in most zombie/post apocalyptic books, these people have very little survival instinct, comfortable in their modern lives with no need or knowledge of how to conduct themselves in their current situation. They are not preppers, ex or current military personnel or woodland experts these people don’t have a clue. If Armageddon was imminent in real-life, I like to think I would compose myself better than these people. Although hard for someone like me to comprehend, it makes the story unique and also highly believable. Moody is able to portray the feeling of these survivors so well it’s difficult not to feel for them or understand why they make the decisions they do or go down the paths they eventually take. As always, the strength of this first book in a series is the character building and especially how Moody is able to take ordinary people and thrust them into extraordinary and horrifying circumstances.
The group decide that holding out in a community center might be the best option but it soon becomes apparent that the group is not made up of individuals you would want to be holed up with. Cracks start to form within the group and when the once dead bodies start to reanimate, a lack of personal space dwindling supplies and fragile tempers eventually persuades some of the group that it is best to move on.
Michael, Carl and Emma decide that it is best if they remove themselves from the community center and find a more secluded rural area to take refuge within a farmhouse. Here they task themselves with fortifying the surrounding area and holding out until any signs of salvation. Unfortunately for them, the dead have other ideas.
Who will survive?
How do the community centers dwellers fare?
Another series by Moody I became totally captivated by and have ultimately read the entire series and believe me when I say this, it’s one not to be missed.