Sunday, 27 August 2017

AFTERMATH (Invasion of the Dead Book 1) by Owen Baillie

3 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK
On Goodreads

How I discovered this book: Amazon browse.

I'm always looking for good new post apocalyptic/zombie books to read, so thought I'd give this a go. I thought it was really promising at first; I liked that it's set in Australia, and the scenario about the five friends coming back from a trip into the wild, not knowing that the outbreak has taken place. I loved their first realisation that something was amiss, when they got to the petrol station. At that point, it was most atmospheric, and building up nicely. I also liked that the author gave background about the relationships between Callan, Kristy, Sherry, Greg and Dylan, so they weren't just a bunch of random names.

Alas, the first 15% was the best bit. The characterisation was reasonable, but a little bit stiff. I felt we were supposed to like Kristy the most, but she was just irritating in her 'oh my God, I've got to go and help because I'm a doctor, even if it means great danger' - and, hang on, yet another zombie survival group who just happen to have a qualified doctor amongst them? No, really? 

Then the group were driving through their devastated hometown with the possibility of finding their loved ones turned into flesh eating monsters, and a couple of them were talking about their love life....once it started getting into the zombie fights I'm afraid I began to lose interest - they're supposed to have seen all the films/TV series, but didn't know about bashing them in the head... then it's zombie fight followed by zombie fight, and it all got a bit samey; I couldn't picture the town. I started skip-reading at about 40%. Having said that, I might go back to it, if only to find out what happens with Callan and Sherry, which was by far the most interesting of the human sub-plots, and to see how the sinster beginning with the guy in the bunker whose name I can't remember, plays out.

I think it would have been better if the beginning was twice as long, so we really got to know the characters and thus cared more what happened to them, and if the uncovering of what had gone on in their absence had been slower. It's not a bad book, it's quite good, but I think 3* is a reasonable rating; if I had nothing else to read I'd have persevered with it. Possibly.

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