5 Stars - Highly Recommended / The Next Best Book
I am a huge fan of David Moody. He knocked my socks off back in September with his Hater series - in which normally rational people suddenly and violently turned against one another in an attempt to survive from an irrational fear of hate. (I am still impatiently awaiting the release of the final book for the trilogy!)
Flattered by the embarrassing amount of love I was gushing on him (or so I assume!) he offered to send me a copy of the first novel in his zombie series - Autumn. This novel was originally released as a free online download and sold so well (and landed Moody a movie adaptation) that it is now being rereleased in print. Autumn dropped this October, and the remaining novels will be available in 3 month increments.
Without ever using the "Z" word, David Moody manages to recreate the walking dead apocalypse. A unnamed virus suddenly and swiftly suffocates and kills 99% of the population. A handful of people, seemingly immune to the deadly virus and displaying various signs of shock and disbelief, slowly congregate to the town's community center building. The dead all lie where they fell, mouths open, stained in blood, looks of absolutely horror and pain frozen on their face.
As the first few days pass, and the survivors decide what they should do, a third of the dead begin to rise. At first unresponsive and harmless, little by little they regain their most basic senses - sight and hearing - and frighten three of our survivors into action.
I practically read this book in one sitting. Fighting off a miserable head cold on our snowy, slushy, dark and gloomy Thanksgiving day, I cocooned myself in a blanket on the couch and got completely lost in this eerie and awful world that Moody had created. Had the real world come to a similar end in those hours while I was reading his novel, I would not have been surprised. The books setting and the weather outside my living room window were just too perfectly matched!
While just about anyone can guess what the final outcome will be in a genre that tends to leave little room for imagination, Moody managed to keep me turning the pages, cringing inwardly as he repetitively placed the characters in situations that had me thinking to myself "oh no, I wouldn't do that if I was you."
I mean, sure. There are twenty-something adults crammed together into a decrepit and not-very-well-stocked one floor building in the heart of the city, surrounded by thousands of rotting dead bodies that slowly begin to stand up and move around. And sure. So a few of those people are going to think that ditching the city for the fresher, more isolated parts of the country might be the right thing to do. And yeah. That causes some tension within the group. But really, people? Three of you, running away to an isolated farmhouse, where you are miles from any other form of protection? Do you really think that is a wise choice?
The rest of the novel had me sitting on the edge of my seat, anxious to see what was going to happen to our little group of survivors. And now, it would appear that I will be impatiently awaiting the rest of the novels in this series as well!