The world is dying. An abhorrent epidemic is sweeping the globe, destroying everything it touches. Contact with even a single drop of contaminated blood or saliva is enough to spread the disease. Within hours even the healthiest people are transformed into hideous, germ-spewing creatures. They hunt out the uninfected in their tens of thousands, their sole purpose to continue spreading the infection.
On a recently-built housing development on the outskirts of a large city, one man will stop at nothing to protect his family from the coming storm. Stuart has been one step ahead of the game from the beginning. His garage is stocked high with supplies, the doors and windows of his home fortified, weapons held ready in case of attack.
With each passing minute, there are more and more infected surrounding the house. With each passing minute, Stuart and his family have less food and water available. Some time very soon, the balance of power will inevitably shift.
But Stuart won’t give up on his family, no matter what the cost.
For me David Moody is the master of the British, zombie subgenre. His Autumn and Hater series’ are some of the most gripping, horrific, emotional and absolutely brilliant books I have read. The cost of Living, Moody’s latest release does not disappoint.
A cost of living is a novella, following the life of Stuart, an everyday man, his wife, and three kids. On a trip to the supermarket, they witness a disturbing attack by an elderly woman, the woman is sick; the woman is spreading the sickness by attacking, vomiting and drooling on those around her. Stuart then takes it upon himself to ensure the safety of his family, having read the signs early he decides to prepare for the worst, hording food and equipment and fortifying their family home, Stuart prepares for the worst. As the world around them falls apart, people become infected, their primary purpose to infect others, Stuart and his family reside in the relative safety of their home. As the story develops, there’s plenty of action involving the infected, descriptions of horror, violence and gore, something which Moody excels at. Yet the main focus of this novella is the emotional and mental toll of living isolated from the rest of the world, confined to four walls, in the same company day in and day out. Cracks start to form, supplies start to dwindle, other threats present themselves, how far will Stuart go to save his family?
Relating to Moody’s characters for me was very easy, being married with three children had me rooting for Stuart and also questioning how I would do things if in his shoes. A short story that will have you eager to see how Stuart and his family survive, an ending that will leave you stunned, this is an intense zombie story that I would recommend to anyone.