This anthology is a good one!
I’m usually reluctant to read anthologies. Not because of authors or stories, but of those who compile them. Many of the stories are not freestanding but just selected fragments from bigger stories or novels and usually live through them. A good collection needs the skill of those who do these selections which may be more or less welcome.
I believe that the compilations composed of short stories are more successful. I personally love this style of short stories. They are a good test for the writers to prove their imagination. It’s required talent to achieve the performance of conceiving a small story in which they must build an action, a situation, to develop some characters and complete the story in a few pages. Think about what can be develop in 50-100 pages must be condensed in 2 or 10 pages. Do you find that is an easy task? I do not think so, which is why there are not too many short stories worth to be read.
And on short, I say that this anthology is a successful one. There are 23 stories of known and lesser known authors. That does not mean anything, because I knew only David Moody, but I guarantee you that these stories can be classified from good to very good.
You’ll find a broad range of topics, a novel approach, a compilation in which you’ll often change the combatant sides in a zombie apocalypse. Yes, some are written from the point of view of the living dead and you’ll enjoy (is it the word a poor choice especially considering that we're talking about zombies?) to see how things are in the opposite side and not just in the survivors one. And there is much more that you’ll get, but I don’t want to spoil your pleasure of reading.
I know you've found in other of my reviews the line “is not just a book for fans of the genre”, but it is also the case with this book. I say this again because many people are reluctant when they hear about zombie and they will think only to evisceration and devoured brains. There is nothing more false in this case! We could better classify them in the category of the stories with an unexpected ending. They are well written, with talent, some with nerve other more sensitive, you’ll find something for all tastes.
I don’t want to make any charts and I don’t think that will be necessary. The anthology is well organized, and although the stories are independent I recommend you take them from the beginning. The order is well chosen, there is a particular accumulation, there are ups and downs, and the stories are intertwined in a pleasant way. I have nothing to tell you more and we do not have to beat around the bush.
Read it and then we’ll talk about it! I say it worth it!