Release Date: 20/01/11
Allison Hewitt is trapped. In the storeroom of Brookes & Peabody's. In a world swarming with the Undead, the Doomed, the Infected.
Locked away with an oddball collection of colleagues and under siege, Allison takes advantage of a surviving internet connection and blogs. She writes, as the food runs out and panic sets in, as relationships develop and friends die, and as zombies claw at the door, all in the hope of connecting with other survivors out there. But as she reads the replies to her posts, Allison begins to comprehend the horrifying scale of the damage. And when no one comes to the group's rescue, they are forced to leave the safety of their room and risk a journey across the city; streets that crawl with zombies, and worse - fellow humans competing for survival.
With Zombie books all the rage they tend to be either out and out hard-core slay fests or a comedic version set to entertain. Whilst this title by Madeleine does has the qualities of a Romero film, the overall arc of this title is about the survival of the titles female lead as she seeks to help her friends find a safe location to wait out the days that the undead walk the earth. Unlike other titles out there, the undead have a certain lifespan and as such, if no feeding occurs they weaken and die. I like that in a title as it demonstrates that there are some realistic tendencies with this work. Add to that additional blog posts from readers of the blog and you know that it’s got all sorts of arty touches that really will strike a nerve with many readers the world over.
Finally, what Madeleine does well is present a story with a great lead, has a decent support cast and clearly demonstrates throughout that she plays for keeps as the events unwind. That said however, my only real problem with the book is that at the beginning you know that what occurs within is looked back upon in hindsight and as such means that during a lot of the story the tales lead is in very little danger until we creep towards the end which is when the tension, to quote Spinal Tap, cranks right up to 11.
It is definitely something new, it has some great prose and when backed with realistic dialogue and an author who will deal in the unpleasant (Bucket Toilet duties) then you know a great deal of thought and planning has gone on before which will make this title definitely one for the Urban Fantasist out there and a title that will threaten as much as engulf the reader’s imagination.