Reading level: Adult
Size: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: January 18, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Zombies series
Source: Audibook through Audible.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I had been wanted to read this book for some time. I loved zombie books and this one had a great premise. It was an entertaining book that ended up being more about dealing with other people than smashing up zombies…although there is a lot of zombie smashing as well.
I listened to this on audiobook and it was very well done. They have different voice actors for the different voices and blog comments. I highly recommend listening to this if you like audiobooks.
Alison is at work at a bookstore when it happens. People start turning into mindless zombies and eating each other. Luckily the break room is where the safe is and has a huge reinforced metal door. Now Alison is trapped with her co-workers in the bookstore break room. As the world crumbles apart outside, Alison decides to start a blog detailing the day to day events. Alison’s story is submitted to a book being written about American heroes during the zombie crisis. As the reader we read it as blog entries.
There are a few things that are really interesting about the way this book is done. Firstly since Alison’s story is being submitted for inclusion in a book about American heroes, we know that eventually humanity recovers from the horrible events that took place during Alison’s life. Just that gives this book a more hopeful feel than many other zombie books I have read.
Secondly the book is done as blog entries. This is similar to Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series, but much different in tone. Alison’s entries are more like a personal diary. Also interesting is that comments to Alison’s blog are posted at the end of each entry. From these comments we get to see what is happening to the rest of the world; we hear about how other people are surviving and how the rest of the world is fairing.
Alison is an awesome character. She is your typical grad student but she will do what needs being done. No matter how gross or gory. I was a little surprised in the beginning of the book at the inaction of her coworkers. None of her coworkers did anything, they were all victims…Alison had to spur them into action. I found this to be kind of unrealistic; I mean I can’t imagine my coworkers ever being that apathetic but I guess I work with engineers not book store employees…so it may just be different.
Most of this book isn’t about slaying zombies. It’s about making a life for yourself in the chaos and dealing with all of the people (good and bad) that cross your life. As with many zombie books, in the end the zombies aren’t the problem…it’s all the crazy people you have to deal with in a society that has completely broken down that are the problem.
Is this book gory, heck yeah! Is it sad at times? Yep. But there are also some interesting revelations about life and the meaning of it in here too. There is also a sweet romance between Alison and one of the men she meets that offsets a lot of the violence. I should mention this is a book for adults. Alison swears a lot (I mean boatloads) and sex is discussed quite a bit (although there isn’t anything really explicit). There are also some surgery scenes that made me squirm.
The end of the book is pretty predictable, but that being said this is one of the more hopeful zombie books that I have read. Things actually end in a somewhat hopeful way.
Overall this is a very good read. The story is told in a creative way and I really enjoyed Alison as a character. Alison is a tough, ax-toting survivor, but along the way she learns a lot about herself and those around her. There is a sweet romance in here, lots of crazy escapes, and lots of chopping up zombies with axes. I still enjoyed The Angels are the Reapers and Night of the Living Trekkies better; but I would still highly recommend this book to zombie fans out there.