The unthinkable has happened. The dead are walking! Humanity’s fragile thread may be reaching its bitter end. Individuals and groups struggle to survive…some at any cost. Will there be anybody left? Or, is this just…The Ugly Beginning?
“The story begins with a guy named Steve, and his POV, looking back on the beginning of a zombie outbreak. He receives a phone call from a friend, instructing him to turn on the local news. Steve chooses to ignore the signs of a zombie outbreak, even though he and his friends have discussed what they would do in that exact situation. However, Steve admits straight away that most of his speculation was very mistaken. Unfortunately, Steve lives in an apartment that has a door and living room window facing an outside hallway, which is how the first zombie gets in. Based on what he sees in the parking lot as he escapes, both people and animals can be infected (the zombies go after all living things). Although the cause is unknown (and Steve doesn’t think anyone will ever really know), the virus is definitely passed on by bites. Steve manages to save Thalia, a little girl who also lived in the apartment building, and the two are soon joined by a teenager named Teresa.
The POV begins to switch between various individuals and groups, but the changes are easy to follow. Some of the more gripping characters are:
Travis, former convict — watched what remained of his work crew devour another co-worker at a warehouse. Turns out to be one of the sickos who takes advantage of the anarchy.
Jaun Hoya — had been living in his car for eight months before outbreak reached him. He meets up with Travis, and thankfully has higher moral standards.
Darrin, Mike, Kevin, and Cary – some friends chatting online who create a survival plan that involves stealing a truck from U-Haul and loading it up at Wal-Mart superstore. These guys could have a book of their own…they had to deal with more obstacles than any other characters.
Dillon & Ian — trapped in their prison cells. Two of the few who had the sense to stand at the BACK of their cells.
There were three qualities that I loved about this story:
1) The author obviously pays attention to what is said in zombie fan forums, message boards, etc.
2) Brown presents all of his characters in the same attention-grabbing way, even if they die soon after their introduction…you don’t know it’s coming until it happens.
3) The characters acknowledge the existing zombie culture…these people have watched the same zombie movies, read the same zombie novels, and had the same discussions as zombie fanatics in real-life.
There is a huge cliff-hanger, but the author has plans for a series comprising as many as ten volumes. I do not recommend this book to the squeamish, but I think this is an excellent book for any zombiephiles who have read pretty much everything else zombie-related. I haven’t read anything this realistic since the The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. I can’t wait to read more about these characters.”