And then the zombie apocalypse changes everything.
Suddenly Keith’s free. For the first time in a long time, he’s got nothing to worry about (apart from several hundred thousand reanimated corpses heading his way).
But then he meets Anna, and everything changes again. Cocky, cool, confident… she’s everything Keith isn’t. Holed-up together in an isolated bungalow, besieged by the living dead, will they survive, or will they tear each other apart before the dead get anywhere near?
David Moody does it again! A fatal virus has turned most of the world’s population into mindless infected masses of rotting flesh wandering the earth without aim or purpose.
Again, characterization is at the forefront of Moody’s story. The main protagonist is Keith; Keith is a nobody, a loner, abused by his father who is a drunk and someone who Keith blames for his mother departure. Keith is ignored and in some cases despised by his workmates and during one meeting where Keith is receiving his marching orders for his incompetence, an unexpected catastrophe takes place, everyone dies. This suddenness of the event is extremely fast, Keith’s reaction is what anyone would do, he heads home in a state of shock and unable to comprehend what has happened.
Before Keith can make sense of what has transpired or construct a plan as to what he will do; events take a turn for the worse. People rise from the dead, stumbling around pointlessly. One of these is Keith’s father. Keith must then leave the safety of his bedroom and find sanctuary elsewhere, dodging the now aggressive hordes of zombies along the way. During a very close, physical encounter with a zombie in a supermarket Keith is saved by a teenage girl named Anna, they hold up in a small bungalow in the centre of an enclosed park, a relatively safe location. At this point in the story the zombies take a back seat and the characterisation, reactions and emotions of Keith and Anna make for an absorbing post-apocalyptic story. During a trip to scavenge for supplies events occur that change Keith and Anna’s relationship. Moody’s depiction of how their characters develop after the event is enthralling. Keith in particularly see’s the zombies for what they really are, easily dispatched and a non-threat. There’s plenty of gore, decapitation and violence. Anna is no longer the cocky, confident girl from the beginning, she needs Keith more than he needs her and this completely changes the dynamic of their relationship. Keith’s character metamorphoses from the useless and scared to the, what he declares himself, “king of the dead”. He might be “king of the dead” but what about the rest of the living?
As a massive fan of Moody’s work, I was saddened to hear that this is his last zombie book for a while but excited and looking forward to what else he has in store. With isolation I was once again blown away by the recognisable settings and relatable yet engrossing characters. A gripping read. Treated to four more short stories within this book, all with different takes on zombie fiction, it’s a must have for zombie lovers, people who love gore and violence and people who love stories with exceptional characterisation. It’s one that’s not to be missed.