Nutshell blurb: The world has been taken over by zombies and the only places who have a hope of surviving are the 3rd world nations such as Somalia that are used to fighting. A group of girl soldiers is accompanied by a former UN inspector to find supplies necessary for their survival. They happen upon a zombie who is not like the others; he can still think.
This book has a very interesting premise. Apparently most of us first-world citizens are too soft to face the undead hordes as they overwhelm the earth and it is those who are used to constantly fighting for their survival every day who are best prepared for the zombie infestation. I was really excited when I read that because I expected the bulk of the action to take place in third-world countries such as Somalia, but instead most of the story happens in New York City. (Yes, I realise that the Statue of Liberty is on the cover. I still expected it to be a bit different.) So, I’m not sure what the relevance is of having only the third-world countries surviving unless it was a way of getting a bunch of Somalian girl warriors over to an infested Big Apple. It seemed a bit tenuous, but I was able to suspend my disbelief a bit.
Overall, this book was fun and the writing was pretty good. I felt that there was a lack of description when it came to the action, however. One minute they were holed up in a Virgin Megastore and the next minute they were running for their lives outside. There were quite a few times when all of a sudden something would happen, but I had no idea of how we got there. Sometimes I read really fast which means that I sometimes miss things, but this happened quite often. There was often no explanation as to how we got into certain situations.
The remainder of this post is going to be a bit spoilertastic, so if you don’t want to know what happens, please stop reading now. I’ll keep my spoilerage to a minimum, but there are things I have to tell you so that I can explain what I thought about them.
So, there’s this character called Gary. He was a doctor in NY when the infection hit. (There’s no explanation about how people became zombies, by the way. I can only assume that will happen in subsequent books as this is part of a series.) Anyway, Gary pretty much figured out that there was no way for him to escape the inevitable so he decided to take matters into his own hands. He thought that the reason that the zombies were mindless animals is because there is no oxygen to the brain between death and reanimation. He reasoned that it was only a matter of time before he became one of them so he hooked himself up to a ventilator and threw himself into a tub of cold water. This stopped his heart immediately and he eventually reanimated and still had his intellect. He also somehow formed an attachment to other zombies in that he could control them.
I thought that this was a really cool concept as this is the first book I’ve read that features a zombie with a fully functional brain. It was interesting to see how he acted when he was up against the living. He started out wanting to be a good guy but couldn’t control his tendencies. He teams up with a druid and some Egyptian mummies and goes up against the UN inspector and his team of child soldiers.
I felt as though the author could have explained things more carefully to us, but the action he did describe was gruesome and over the top. It’s definitely not for the squeamish.
Like I said, this book is fun even if there are some things that I question. If I see the next book lying around, I’ll probably give it a go but I probably won’t go out of my way to get it.