Every genre / sub-genre has rules and tropes. Coded language that readers of the genre intuitively understand. One example would be the covers of the books in this series, they speak to readers of dystopian fiction right down to the colours chosen. There are things you expect, shortcuts in telling the story that rely on the readers understanding of the genre.
Any good author will know the rules, but a great author will know how to get away with breaking them.
And that brings us to the Undead Age series. I’ve read a lot of books in this genre, but I haven’t read any books that have broken this many rules.
And somehow A.M. Geever gets away with it. I’m the first to admit that it took me a while to figure out what the hell was going on in book one, but once I figured it out, it blew my mind.
Reckoning in an Undead Age is the last book in the series. The events of book two destroyed lives and ruined those who were left behind. Miranda and Mario are grieving, trudging through depression and both are coping in different ways. Miranda has pushed those she loves away while Mario has stepped onto the path of revenge.
And that is what this book is about. Grief, depression and ultimately redemption. But more lives will be lost a long the way.
Many thanks to the author who provided me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
It’s not always easy to define zombie books.
At one end they are a sub-genre of Horror, but they can also be a sub-genre of Romance and even humour.
I’ve always had a basic model of what a zombie book is, based on a bunch of recurring themes and archetypes.
There are of course brain eating undead.
They usually come from the south. There is a plucky band of survivors. A Walmart. A fort. I could go on but you get the idea.
I guess those things are the rules of the genre.
Authors love breaking rules but I haven’t read a zombie book that has broken this many of them.
First of all Love in an Undead Age is set years after the zombie apocalypse. There is a vaccine and that vaccine is controlled by the City Council. Surviving infection is all about getting vaccinated but the council are anything but benevolent.
In something of a cold war with the council is the Jesuit priests. They don’t have the vaccine but control much of the food. They also have an audacious plan to make the vaccine available to all.
And there you have the basic premise.
I loved this book if for no other reason than it is so different from everything else. It’s not an easy book. It’s quite dense and the set-up was tough going but when it clicks into gear it’s a runaway train.
Many thanks to the author who provided me with this review copy.
Instauration is book 3 in the City Series. For the best reading experience, read Mordacious and Peripeteia first.
After Walt and his gang attacked the Sunset Park Safe Zone (book 2 Peripeteia) Sylvie, Eric and the other survivors find themselves on the run. They take refuge in the Stuyvesant Town Safe Zone where they plan their revenge on Walt. But things are anything but safe in the city and zombies aren’t even the worst of it. Sylvie and her friends are assailed on all sides by psychopaths who think nothing of murdering and raping to get ahead.
Most zombie books are fluff. They are basically comics and you can’t take them too seriously. That’s not the case with Instauration. It’s brutal, uncomfortable and hard to read in parts.
You desperately want all the people you have come to love over the three books to get their happy ending. Not all of them will.
I’ve read a few zombie novels, and this is one of them.
Honestly, you could take the synopsis from any of them and switch it seamlessly into any of the others. Pretty much the same things happen in them all.
So quickly…there’s a virus, looters, they escape the city. Head to the farm, meet some bad guys, get over-run by zombies. Make their way to a fort, go to walmart, get over-run by a tsunami of zombies. Head into the wilderness. As expected along the way there is a lot of crunching, squishing and exploding brains. A few loved characters bite the bullet but a motley group
manage to escape and drive off into the sunset.
Maybe I read too much into these books but I grew up when people routinely talked about being “over-run” by immigrants of one persuasion or another. This book has the tsunami of zombies coming from the south…err Mexico, and when I read that sort of stuff I cringe a little. I don’t think it’s deliberate but it’s overt enough that I always notice it and draw those parallels.
That said, the books are entertaining enough even if they’re not all that original.
Note: These two books work well together. You could read them and walk away without any trouble. That said, there is a third book coming out in early 2015.