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  • gilwilson 11:02 PM on April 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: autumn, autumn aftermath, , , , , , , , ,   

    “Autumn: Aftermath” by David Moody 

    “Autumn: Aftermath”
    by David Moody
    Published by Thomas Dunne Books (2012)
    388 pages

    What an adventure!!  If you, like me, have been reading the entire “Autumn” series by David Moody, this final book in the series is a bittersweet thing.  First of all It brings an end to the series of books where the dead have risen and only about one percent of the population have survived.  Now, before I go any further, I should clarify that this is not your typical Zombie Apocalypse novel.  While the dead do rise and there are a few survivors having to fight of the hordes of rotting, walking dead, they never use the word zombie.  In fact, the things that make this different from other zombie stories, is that the walking cadavers do not have the need to feed on the dead, and the infection is not spread and the survivors do not have the risk of being turned into the living dead.

    This series is primarily about survival and how the interactions of the human race could allow us to destroy ourselves further or enable the species to live on.  The cadavers in David Moody’s book can kill but only by mere mass of thousand of bodies closing in on someone.  They do become violent when threatened, but they are not out to eat your brains.  So if you are ready to survive that then get ready to read an outstanding series about apocalyptic survival.

    This is the fifth book in the series (you could almost say 6th because of another story that was released online, but maybe I’ll explain that more if I get a copy of that one on my Kindle) and wraps up the entire apocalyptic events and even attempts to explain why the undead “attack” the living.  The extra super cool thing about this book is that it fully explains and brings into the fold that last book, “Disintegration,” the 4th in the series.  “Disintegration” introduced a completely different set of characters from the first three books and I just assumed it was a side book which took place at the same time as the others.  But this final book in the series wraps them all up in one nice neat package.  (However, Mr. Moody, if you are reading this, there is room for a follow-up, that would be fun.)

    While it was amazing to wrap up all the books and find out what was going to happen to mankind in a world overrun with rotting dead folks walking around, I was sad to see that the story was over and done.   The best part about the series was not the walking dead, nor really the survivor’s stories, the best part of the series and especially so in this book, was the descriptive writing by David Moody, that kept me in the story in all dimensions.  There were times when he would describe the surrounding areas covered in decomposing bodies that through his words I could actually smell the rot and decay.  In a similar manner I could hear the squelching of the people walking through the liquid depths of decay through fields where the bodies were decomposing and leaving a liquid slurry of rot.  At the same time as writing about these gory details the author also placed the reader into the heads, in a very realistic manner, of each of the characters and made it easy to understand why they acted as they did.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that this guy, David Moody, is the bard of zombie apocalyptic stories.

    Okay the main story of this book finally converges the two parties mentioned before and brings in a few new characters.  As soon as you open to page one you will not be able to stop until the end because of the non-stop action and will to survive.  The first couple of books told of the group that started the whole walking cadavers experience in cities, a university, an army base and finally finding an island to settle on after clearing the few dead.   Book four took us on an adventure where a small group was surviving in the city, but when the dead overpowered their home base, took off and found a group holed up in a remote resort hotel.  That book ended with the hotel being overrun by the zom…oh wait…walking cadavers.

    “Aftermath” takes us first to one of the characters from the hotel finding a small group of people surviving in a castle where the bodies cannot get inside.  When the winter sets in and the dead are frozen the group heads back to the hotel and finds the few survivors and brings them back to the castle.  In this castle there is a bit of a rift between 2 men who want to lead, one says they should plan for the future, while the other says no need to plan, just wait out the bodies.   When they make a trip to raid a town of food and supplies, one man, Harte, distracts the unfrozen dead so the raiding party can get back to the castle.

    Now it’s time to bring in the folks that are on the island.  If you remember they have a helicopter and are still using it to fly to the mainland for the occasional supply run.  This time they fly to the mainland to find boats for future trips.  They fly into the same city where Harte distracted the dead, and find Harte still alive.  Harte tells them of the survivors in the castle and with the idea of adding more to the population of the island a few fly to the castle to bring the survivors to the island.

    The leaders of the castle are split as to whether they should stay or go and a schism develops which further develops into a small war between the islanders and the castle survivors.  The outcome is a long battle for the survival of the human species.

    While the zombies don’t eat flesh, this is definitely a book and series that any zombie lover should add to their library.

     
  • gilwilson 9:56 PM on February 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: autumn, , books book reviews, , griffin, , , , st. thomas books, , ,   

    “Autumn: Disintegration” by David Moody 

    “Autumn: Disintegration”
    by David Moody
    Published by St. Martin’s Griffin (2011)
    352 pages

    Okay, I’ve made it through the fourth book in the David Moody series of walking dead books, “Autumn: Disintegration.”  While Moody doesn’t have your typical zombies in these books, they are re-animated dead people, and they are actually just as scary as the flesh-eating zombies in other books or movies.  In all the books no one actually refers to them as zombies, but merely, “bodies.”  There is a moment in this book where the “Z” word comes in but only for  a brief moment.  While Moody’s zombies don’t eat flesh, they still are a threat to the surviving humans by sheer numbers, and as time goes by they seem to be getting just a little bit smarter.

    To catch you up on the storyline, some strange virus or maybe an antivirus has caused about 90 percent of the world’s population to die off within seconds, the survivors are all in shock and not knowing what to do next.  While trying to figure out what happens next the bodies get up and start walking.  At first, they just walk and only react when touched.  Eventually the bodies begin to react to sound and when enough bodies react the threat of being crushed by the dead bodies becomes a danger.  Then the walking cadavers begin to act violently toward the living, not eating the flesh of the living but clawing and pounding the living.  In the previous 3 books some of the survivors manage to find an island and rid it of the remaining bodies and begin starting over.

    This book takes place parallel with the other 3 books but begins 40 days after the virus has hit.  This time around David Moody introduces the reader to a group of survivors who have cordoned off a section of flats by building a barrier of cars and trucks and only going out for supplies when needed.  Each time this group goes out they notice that the bodies are becoming more violent, and even smarter.  Another problem is introduced in this book and that is one of disease.  With all the rotting bodies and the remains of the twice-killed bodies (yes, you can still kill them by destroying the head/brain) one of the group of survivors dies from an illness contracted from the germs left by the rotting flesh.

    After the animated corpses learn to breach the fence of vehicles put in place by the survivors they all decide they need to find somewhere new, and maybe just maybe get away from the new threat of the germs.  One thing about this group is that they are a loosely led band that almost reminds me of a motorcycle gang and how they would survive a zombie apocalypse.  They always go out wearing several layers of clothes, including leather, to protect against the bodies.  The group boards their vehicles, one of which is a double-decker bus and head out to find a safer place.

    I have to pause here and just comment on the fact they have a double-decker bus.  How cool is that?  I used to work for a radio station that had a double-decker bus as one of the station vehicles and thought it was the coolest ride around.  For you Brits, that ride one all the time you probably don’t see my thrill here, but I just think if you are going to ride around the countryside during a zombie apocalypse, a double-decker bus is the way to go.

    Anyway back to “Autumn: Disintegration.”  The group accidentally find a resort hotel in which a small band of survivors have managed to get by, barely.  The hotel group has a sound system set up on a nearby golf course keeping the bodies away from the hotel, as well as a nice fencing system keeping the undesirables out.  The city group, used to going out and foraging daily, get restless and when they do they begin to make noise which attracts more bodies and soon the hotel is under threat of attack.

    Another thing i should mention is that the hotel group has a single body locked in a windowed area near the hotel pool.  This body is a barometer of sorts to let those inside know how the bodies outside are changing.

    Once again David Moody has created nightmares for me, and for that, sir, I thank you.  Very chilling stuff, and now I hear he’s got another book in the series coming out.  I can’t wait.

     
  • gilwilson 9:48 PM on January 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , autumn, , , , , , , , purification, , ,   

    “Autumn: Purification” by David Moody 

    “Autumn: Purification”
    by David Moody
    Published by Thomas Dunne Books
    329 pages

    I’m continuing in my excursion into the Autumn series by David Moody, and with the third book out of the way, I’m more convinced that this is NOT a zombie series.  Although the walking corpses do prevail in these books, the series is more about survival on a post apocalyptic world than just the horror of walking dead.  Ever since book one I’ve been wondering why these meatbags haven’t been eating the living, but at the same time with the constant despair and need to survive guiding those that were immune to the virus, this series is just a good story.  My love of all things zombie got me interested in the books, but it was the excellent storytelling by David Moody that kept me reading.

    In the first book, “Autumn,” we were introduced to Michael and Emma as a mysterious virus struck nearly 90% of the world’s population dead.  The deaths happened within seconds after contracting the virus.  Michael and Emma were among the few survivors that grouped together in a small town community center.  The two met up with Carl and decided that they had pretty much the run of the world since there nearly everyone else was dead.  When the bodies of those struck down by the virus began to rise and walk around the 3 decided to head off and find safety in an abandoned farm.  The bodies then actually started to attack, not eating the flesh of victims but just the mere mass of lots of bodies was enough to bring harm.  Carl tried to go back to the Community center but found it overrun with bodies and he finally fell to the horde.  Michael and Emma took off to find somewhere safe.

    In book two, “Autumn: The City,” the story runs parallel to the first book but this time from the view of survivors in a large city.  This second book also throws in that the military had a bit of a warning of the virus and military personnel were immediately sent to bunkers before the virus struck.  The survivors in the city are holed up in a university but the crowding from the walking cadavers soon makes it obvious they need to relocate.  When the military decides to send out a scouting party to determine what has happened and the current status, two of the soldiers are left behind when the troop transport is overwhelmed by walking dead.  One of the soldiers has his protective gear removed and dies within seconds showing the virus is still in the air.  The second soldier, Cooper, discovers he is immune and finds the survivors in the University.  Eventually with the help of Cooper the survivors escape the University to find the underground military bunker, on the way to the bunker they meet up with Michael and Emma in a motor home.  The few survivors get into the bunker but not allowed past the decontamination area, now safe underground.

    Now for book three, “Autumn: Purification.”  We join all the survivors as they continue to exist in the bunker.  Problems arise in the bunker when the now aggressive walking corpses are blocking the vents which feed air into the bunker.  The undead are blocking by sheer masses of bodies in the area, attracted to the living that are in the area.  The military tries to clear the vents but each time they go out they attract more bodies.  On the final attempt to clear the bodies, something goes wrong and the survivors must leave, able to save a few of the soldiers after the main bunker is closed to the outside.   In a convoy of the motor home, a prison bus and a troop transport they stop in a nearby town to regroup.  After clearing out a few animated bodies, the survivors spend the night in a relatively secure area.

    The next morning a helicopter arrives in town and lands in the secure area.  The survivors from the bunker are told by the pilot of a plan to go to safety.  The safety comes in the form of an island which had a small population.  Once the few bodies are cleared the island should be a haven of safety compared to the mainland.  The survivors then only have to drive to the airport where the pilot is stationed and then, using the chopper and one airplane go to the island.  Not as easy as it sounds, especially with the dead becoming more self-aware.

    What I really liked about this story of survival, is that David Moody uses the normal person as the main characters.  Not like other zombie movies.  Have you ever noticed how in other zombie movies your everyday average person suddenly becomes an expert marksman when zombies attack?  Not so in this book.  These people panic, don’t shoot straight, and often double think their movements.  Basically what your everyday normal human would do when struck by the sudden terror of not only being one of the last humans alive but also the terror of the dead walking around.

    Now for the fourth and final book in the series, “Autumn: Disintegration.”

     
  • gilwilson 9:02 PM on January 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , autumn, , , , , , , the city, ,   

    “Autumn: The City” by David Moody 

    “Autumn: The City”
    by David Moody
    Published by Thomas Dunne Books (2011)
    330 pages

    It’s back to some zombie action once again.  This time around I’m continuing in a series written by David Moody, one of the best zombie horror writers, I’ve read.  The funny thing is, the zombie word has yet to appear in this series and this is the second book.  Sure there are reanimated corpses, cadavers, bodies walking around, but no one ever brings up the “Z” word.  There is once that one of the characters compares the walking corpses to those in the movies their kid used to watch.  But Moody is able to bring you the horror of zombies without the word or even flesh eating monsters.

    Sure the gore is still there with rotting flesh and dead people walking around and looking decayed, but they don’t attack, at least not at first, and then when they do, it’s more a matter of the numbers of dead bodies, than the fear of being eaten or worse turned into one of the living dead.  This makes the horror a deeper more emotional horror and plays on a different side of fear.

    Being part two of what is a four part (so far) series, I’ll give you a little bit of a background, but one thing I noticed was that this book could easily be read independent of the first book, which was titled, “Autumn.”  Both books basically run parallel to each other until later in the book when a couple of characters from the first book show up and blend in with this story.

    In “Autumn” the same as this book it all starts out with a day like any other, people on their way to work when all of a sudden many are struck with a sudden illness that within seconds leaves them dead, choking on their own blood.  In the first book a few survivors meet up in a community center all dumbfounded that suddenly everyone they know is now dead.  In fact all the deaths happen so suddenly that the roads are jammed with wrecked vehicles, and bodies.  Not knowing what to do the few group in the center just simply trying to make sense of it all.  After a couple of days the dead bodies begin to get up and walk around.  Not threatened by the slow ambling bodies, the survivors ignore the bodies walking around not able to cope with this new horror.  The bodies simply walk until something is in the way and then change directions.  After another couple of days the bodies begin to respond to noises made by the survivors.  Still not threatening but nonetheless horrifying, Three of the survivors including Michael and Emma decide to head out of the small town and out into the country where there will be less bodies walking around and try to make a new start of it.

    They find a farm in the middle of nowhere and begin to set up house trying to begin anew in this strange new world.  The problems begin when the dead bodies begin to get more aggressive, the walking dead soon begin attacking, and with their sheer numbers and being attracted to the living, drive the survivors out of the farmhouse and Michael and Emma return to the town to find the rest of the survivors.

    Now for this book, “Autumn” The City.” The beginning parallels the events in the first book but this time around the survivors are in a major city.  With the higher population of the city the sheer numbers of walking cadavers soon overpowers the survivors who are holed up in a local university.  The thing that makes this book a little more different and interesting is that Moody introduces the military into the mix.  At the beginning of the book a strange alert goes out and all local military are shuffled off to a hidden underground base.  The military is forgotten until after the point when the walking corpses start to get a little more aggressive.  At this point the hidden away soldiers decide that after a few weeks and no communications with the outside world a scout party needs to be sent out.

    A troop transport is loaded up and some soldiers venture out into the city to find out what has happened to the world.  Mistaking the walking dead for infected citizens, they stop and try to find out what is going on.  The undead soon attack the soldiers causing all to leave, two soldiers are left behind as the transport leaves back to base.  When one of the left behind takes off his mask he soon succumbs to the disease and dies instantly.  The other soldier, Cooper, decides not to take off his gear and seeks out shelter from the infected.

    Soon some of the survivors decide they are no longer safe in the University and need a plan to escape to somewhere where there are not millions of walking corpses attacking.  When Cooper shows up at the University they realize the base must be the place to go.  But first, transportation is needed and then to escape the millions of dead in the city.

    Lots of zombie horror, but not the typical flesh eating terror, rather the survival and psychological horror of the end of the world.  Now on to book 3 “Purification.”

     
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