on Dec. 1, 2013 :
I received a copy of this book for honest review. 'Days with the Undead' is the journal account of a zombie apocalypse, filled with warnings of what to do and what not to do when zombies attack.
The narrator Julie is a no-nonsense doctor who right from the first entry comes across as someone who has seen it all and doesn't want to see anyone else make the same mistakes she has already witnessed. She does come across a bit on the cold side but there is an explanation for this which appears much later in the book. The moments of horror glimpsed in the beginning are gory and well depicted but the true terror in this tale of survival is not unveiled until close to it's well plotted ending. I was uncertain where the story was going when I started reading it but I was satisfied by how it ended and it really stuck in my head - I actually kept thinking back to the story long after I put it down.
So while in the beginning Julie's journey didn't seem so unusual for a zombie apocalypse survivor, the story does take a surprising twist and suddenly becomes more than meets the eye. I was very impressed by this unexpected development as it elevated the story from the typical to the brilliant in an instant. The ending for me is also where the weight of the apocalyptic events lies, in the horrors of what Julie has endured to survive. It goes a long way to explaining her stern attitude and at times cold retellings of events.
Overall this is a well plotted zombie apocalypse story with a brilliant ending. Recommended for fans of horror and zombie books!
(reviewed 41 days after purchase)
on June 24, 2013 :
How do you make a new, refreshing, exciting and unpredictable take on a zombie apocalypse story? Well, it's quite simple really: You have to care about the characters.
It's far too easy for writers to follow the same old lines when writing zombie stories. Most get so caught up on the biting teeth, over the top gore and violence that they discard the one thing that keeps the story together, the one thing that keeps your interest and that is the people you, as the reader, have to identify with. The people who are left in a broken world full of shambling but deadly dead people. Thankfully this book invests precious time and care into the characters. A flawed, scared and desperate group of five that find themselves constantly trying to outrun and escape the ever encroaching threat of not just dying but becoming that which they most fear: Undead. Written in the form of a series of blog entries that details the day to day tensions and emotions the five face. They are clever resourceful characters that side-step the stereotypical survivors we usually meet in zombie novels. They are ordinary people thrown head-first into an extraordinary situation. They quickly adapt, always moving, always checking the corners. The are not just written only to be fodder for hungry mouths. There is no help from the military or police, heck even The President of The USA finds himself in an uncomfortable position. Nearly every entry in the book ends with a plea to us to get armed, get stocked up and to get moving. It's almost like reading a survival guide for a world-wide disaster that could be happening right now, unreported and just down the street. As with the style of the book, there are moments of complete despair and terror but there are also moments of touching sadness and even some humour, especially the part about undead chipmunks.
I really enjoyed this book. It's pace never slows.The tension never stops and the world is beautifully realized and written, deep with ravaging detail and claustrophobic design. Having read loads of zombie stuff, I was surprised by how much I felt for the characters. As the novel continued and the never-ending almost circular road trip from hell kept going, I found myself losing hope that these people would ever find peace but I had to keep reading because, salvation could be just around the next bend. There again, around the next bend there might be a city ablaze and pirates with flame-throwers. Enjoy.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on Oct. 5, 2012 :
Julianne Snow takes the reader into a world that could happen at any time. The story is even more fitting in a period in which individual citizens, and groups, start preparing themselves for all types of disasters. There could be financial ruin, civil war, earthquakes, or any matter of time but these people will be ready.
It's that time of mind set that we find a small group of Canadians that are of the same mindset. The group consists of ex-military, doctors, environmental scientists, and a few others. Their expertise will all come into play as their world is turned upside down.
The great thing that Julianne does is start the story in a place that many have not seen in stories like this. The story starts in an emergency room in of all cities, Toronto, Canada. As the story unfolds it's obvious that this close group of friends will do all they can to escape the Undead.
Julianne tells the story through the eyes of Julie who uses the technology of the day to write a blog as they travel. The blog will fill the reader not only into their decisions, but provide a glimpse into each member of the group. As you read you will begin to understand them more and see that this "plague" is not the only hardship some have had to face in the world.
Julianne creates a believable story of survival as the group travels from Canada and into the United States. Areas that are mentioned will strike familiar to many who read the book, which adds another depth to the story. This is a book that not only fans of this genre should really enjoy, but those who are blog readers. The additional thing people will take from this book is the optimism the lead character shows through her writing. It appears that no matter how bad the world gets she holds out hope for humanity. Something that is often missing in books of this genre, and a great start to a series of books.
(reviewed 67 days after purchase)