Author(s): Alisse Lee Goldenberg and An Tran
Publisher: Severed Press
Publication date: 2013
> Survivalist story suitable for all zombie fans.
> Character and emotional driven story.
> Told from a first person (diary) perspective.
Never judge a book by the cover they say, but I love the look of this one, from the admittedly generic hand, the use of colour and fonts combined made me very excited to start reading this book. Although from the title, I was expecting more a gritty story located in some urban centre, instead what I got was a fantastic emotionally driven story about one groups attempts to see out the zombie apocalypse and survive without losing their humanity.
Set a few months after the LA bath salts cannibal incident, sensing the change in society, as a mysterious virus spreads and infects Canada’s population, and potentially beyond, turning all infected into flesh-eating zombies, a young mother takes her family and any friends who she can convince into the Canadian arctic as they seek to simply survive.
Told through the diary entries of mother Ali and her friend, the crazy cat lady An, modelled one guesses on themselves, is what lends the book character’s strength as it is written from the heart and this helps create warmth in which the reader can connect with. Like many modern stories written in the current age, the authors display self-awareness of the zombie genre, as they refer to Romero type zombies which are roaming the Canadian wilderness.
As stated previously, we are dealing with likable characters whose personalities and interactions help to drive the story on, with an interesting contrasting outlook of the two lead characters and its these writing devices that really help lift this book above many of its peers. Especially when the authors ramp up the tension as the survivors discover they aren’t or at least weren’t the only ones leading to tough decisions having to be made and causing powerful emotions for not just the characters but also the reader, due to the connection felt with the wonderfully crafted characters and community dynamic.
Sadly the book suffers from a noticeable amount grammatical, typing and spelling errors, while the spacing between certain paragraphs seems inconsistent, which is really something the publisher should have picked up during the proof reading stage but thankfully does not detract from the quality of the story, but just lets the authors down.
Meanwhile, a few people have criticised the book for a lack of geographical accuracy and the embellished used of hydroponics but these people are clearly missing the point, this is a fictional story, as a Brit I have no idea about the geography and distances between places in Canada, so accuracy of distance is irrelevant to me and my enjoyment of the story and I think it is highly likely that it will be irrelevant to your enjoyment of the story as well.
Overall this is a fantastic zombie survivalist novel which puts character development and emotional experience at the heart of the story, allowing the reader to fully invest into the characters and situation, and I would highly recommend this book to any fans of the Walking Dead or World War Z.
Despite the minor flaws which should have been picked up at the copy checking stage this is still a fantastic read and great value.