REVIEW: Zomblog by T. W. Brown
I have to warn you before reading this review that not only does T. W. Brown write for Buy Zombie on occasion but also he is a friend of the site. That being said I try not to bias my reviews on personal preference but this one is more than favorable for the novel. He is a true fanatic of the undead and I hope these two facts don’t slant your opinion of my review as I really am writing on the merit of the book and not based on friendship with the author.
One of my all time favorite zombie novels was Day By Day: Armageddon as it was the first one written in a first person narrative of the daily life of a character in the events leading up to a zombie outbreak, the outbreak itself, and how civilization crumbles and evolves in the post apocalyptic setting of a world overrun with the undead. T. W. has started this novel as an updated version of this concept but as the plot follows through has made the idea so much more.
Our main character, Sam, has gone through a divorce, is a single father, has a small band, and works a dead end late night job. This job though allows him to see quite a few unusual activities that go on after those with normal sleep schedules have gone to bed and being out and active most nights allows him to see a slew of interesting activity. As a form of self therapy and entertainment he starts a blog to document both a mixture of his life as well as these late night happenings. We quickly learn that he lives for his music and the love that he feels towards his daughter Erin. While he has a girlfriend she is quickly tossed out of the picture as he finds that she is cheating on him. Leaving us with a cast of his daughter and ex-wife we know something is bound to happen. With the late night newscasts of an unexplained outbreak occurring in another country as well as in those salvation workers who are returning in quarantine being just as sick as those they went to help.
The epidemic grows. I’m not giving away real spoilers here as this all happens relatively quickly in the novel. Sam is soon asked to take care of his daughter as his ex-wife is a nurse and is now stuck at the hospital nearly full time to help deal with the growing epidemic. No one has figured out how exactly it is spreading quite yet but it is growing exponentially, curfews are in effect, TV stations are going offline, and the Internet is starting to slow down with updates. All of this is happening as Sam gets a call from his ex to come over immediately and bring their daughter. He gets there as she has collapsed and they both try to make her comfortable. While he is resting his daughter goes into hysterics that her mother died. Nearly right after that though she gets up and bites off Erin’s ear.
We all can guess where this goes as he has to first tie down his ex-wife and later confines his daughter to a similar fate. While it would be easy to live in despair Sam makes the choice to continue fighting for life and not give up. It is unclear to everyone what has happened so far and even those are piecing it together don’t want to believe the truth – the world has become overrun with zombies. Sam has seen what is happening first hand and realizes that to survive he is going to need to have supplies. He learns how to distract the undead slightly as he moves from location to location searching for supplies and stumbles across a group of survivors!
What happens across the course of the novel from this point is a series of learning how to survive in this world while not being confined to a single area that seems more like a trap than a safe place to live. As Sam travels technology has gone and his blog becomes a journal. Not just a journal but a ‘guide’ to what has happened and how to live in this new world. Zombies are of course not the only problem as there are countless humans who are shown to consistently only have lived by a moral code when they had to and now just go out of their way to whatever they want.
The most interesting change from a ‘survival’ journal that takes place is that it actually changes hands 3/4th of the way through the novel. We are given exactly how T.W. can continue the series, make it original, and make it seem real all in the way that the events unfold at this part of the book and you have to give him credit for taking a creative solution to continue a story that allows us multiple perspectives on the same events. It’s a great start to what will clearly be a series that has a great way in giving us a great look at both story and characters but with a focus that is clearly on the story itself. I do have one complaint though. One huge complaint. I can see not checking people for bites or scratches from the undead one time but there were multiple times where various groups of survivors wouldn’t do a full body check – you could almost always tell when someone was going to end up turning into a zombie.
Available at Amazon!