Review of Pat Douglas’s “Epidemic of the Undead”
Chris Commons is a folk rock singer on the way to a gig in Beaumont, Texas with his cousin Mark and friend Steve, who are the other members of his band. The venue they’re supposed to play in appears to be abandoned when they show up a few short hours before the show and it looks like their concert has been cancelled on them. But when they head over to a nearby coffee house and see what’s on the television, they discover that the abandoned venue is the least of their worries. The boys have landed in the middle of the zombie outbreak on the road with nowhere to go as the undead begin showing up in droves outside. Cut off from their van, they do their best to find safety with the coffee house clerk in tow, but soon discover that there isn’t any place left that’ll protect them from the undead.
Epidemic of the Undead is a bare-bones no nonsense zombie apocalypse thriller with a passion for blood, guts, and a high body count. The reader is given no explanation of how the plague got started and no explanation is needed as we role through the first few hours and days after the dead have risen. This is all about the action, gore, and the characters efforts to come to grips with the fact that everyone is turning up dead (and undead) all around them. The zombies are traditional slow movers with all the regular strengths and weaknesses. The story sticks to Chris’s perspective throughout and his goals are simple: don’t get bitten, stay alive long enough to get back to see his parents in Tennessee, and perhaps discover if Stephanie, the coffee house clerk, is more interested in him than Steve, the lothario of the band.
The story moves at a fast clip and while I had some issues with some of the dialog being a bit stilted in places and the fact that there were some typos along the way, the action and gore were more than up to snuff, with some of the descriptive details of the trauma the undead had suffered leaving me a bit queasy (which is a good thing for the zombie fan). I was rooting for Chris and his chances with Stephanie-the author didn’t overdo the romance angle given the type of story this was, but it was a nice touch, and added a bit of normality to the insanity of the world crumbling around him. Chris isn’t any sort of hero, just another guy trying to survive, which made him someone I could identify with. Just a regular guy trying to figure out how to use a gun for the first time and make sure all his friends don’t end up dead. Pick this one up if you’re looking for a fun undead escape with plenty of gruesome action.
Epidemic of the Undead can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Epidemic-Undead-Zombie-Novel-ebook/dp/B0088KAWN4/ref=la_B006XWFXBU_1_4_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1338856202&sr=1-4&fb_source=message
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