Review: Breaking News: An Autozombiography by: N.J.Hallard

When civilization finally collapsed and the undead grew weak enough for the survivors to catch their breath, they were left with one question…what to do with dear old England?

On the south coast, two zombie film fans are caught up in the summer madness of a real plague of the undead. They know how to deal with the situation and what to arm themselves with, but everyone else seems a little preoccupied. As mobile reception is lost, radio stations fell silent and passenger jets drop from the sky they seek shelter on top of an Iron Age hill fort, soon joined by friends and enemies alike.

This was an interesting read. The writing surprised me for a self-published novel. I usually don’t judge a book based upon whether or not it is self-published, because there are a some self-published books out there that are just as good (or even better) than published works, and this novel is a good example.

Plot: The plot I am not very fond of, but it didn’t exactly have many faults either. A small group of survivors start building a small compound atop of Cissbury Ridge where they try and survive against the rotting onslaught of the undead. The author goes into detail about how they used what they had (which was in meagre supply) and slowly built a compound, which eventually grew as more survivors joined their ranks. The medieval-esque society they build manages to hold off against the undead as well as maintain some normalcy. What I liked to see was how the presence of zombies caused some psychological implications with the survivors, which you don’t see very often in zombie stories. It was an interesting plot, although I can see this novel not being received well by American audiences due to the lack of firearms, but this story was taken from a realistic slant and it was good to see the author not sell out on the realism aspects of the story by giving each character an assault rifle or a rocket launcher. So, I give the author extra kudos for that! This is one of the most realistic zombie stories I’ve read to date, as well as providing a fun, laid back story.

Writing: The writing was the most impressive element about this story. The author uses a heavily descriptive style, but his voice and his eye for intricate detail create excellent visuals. Some descriptions I actually read over twice because they were so well drawn and written by the hands of a true poet. The only issue I had with his writing style was that it bogged down the story a little pace-wise, but the flow and prose is notably powerful. It’s a unique style of writing that truly stands out from the rest of the herd and N.J Hallard is an impressive storyteller.

Overall: The plot is pretty good and he presents personable characters. The pace is a little bogged down from the heavy descriptions. The author’s descriptive texts are written with a unique hand and they flow as fluidly as water. I was thoroughly impressed with the writing; this is one of the most well written zombie novels I have read in a while. This novel proves a point that just because its self-published, does not mean its crap and it should be judged fairly along with its published counterparts. I have a feeling that N.J Hallard, given the right opportunities, can be a force to be reckoned with.

Available on Amazon

About Kevin Walsh

Kevin Walsh is an insane and disturbed individual with an appetite for anything zombie related. He's an avid reader and reviewer of horror fiction. Between reading, reviewing and stalking the nightly streets of Prescott, Ontario, he finds time to work on his own crazy writing projects. Kevin's first zombie novel, The Way of All Flesh, will be published by Crowded Quarantine Publications on July 2nd, 2013. He welcomes anybody to contact him via facebook or email to talk about zombies, hockey (How Canadian) and the genius of padded-rooms.