Disclaimer: We were sent a digital copy of this book to review.
Zombie Zone Zero was written as a memoir from the perspective of Chris Daniels, just a regular guy, and his experiences in the first few weeks of the Zombie Apocalypse. The story in a nutshell… Daniels, a manager at a local Canadian liquor store is starting his shift just before Christmas when all hell breaks loose. On lockdown, the liquor store refugees are a group of store employees and customers – most of which seem to be un-phased by seeing the walking dead outside their windows. Surviving on beef jerky, chips, booze, and looted lunch meat from the Subway next door, they eventually leave the safety of the liquor store to scout the city and hopefully make it several towns over to find Artie’s daughter. In their travels they meet a vicious band of raiders that complicates their ultimate plan of finding a zombie free safe haven.
Being this was Robert Knight’s first zombie novel, I kept my expectations open. Written in the 1st person, the story has a strong narrative feel. At times the narration slightly overpowers the dialogue, but it IS written as a memoir, so the descriptive writing compensates for the times where there is slightly less character dialogue. Although told from the perspective of Chris Daniels, it becomes very clear early on that Artie is the true “main character” of the story and quickly becomes the hero/leader of the ragtag group of survivors. He’s a very likeable character and throughout the book, Knight spends a lot of time developing his persona- revealing bits and pieces about his background to make you feel like he’s a trusted member of the group. The fact that the story was taking place in Canada as opposed to the United States was somewhat refreshing. The majority of books I’ve read have taken place in the States so it was nice to see the zombie apocalypse from another geographic location and climate. I also liked the author’s rendition of the zombies – deviating from the usual cold/deathly feel; these zombies were hot to the touch – presumably still burning up from the fever. The book didn’t go into great detail about the zombies themselves…we don’t know if they’re runners or shamblers, how tattered their clothes are, are they attracted to scent, sound, movement, or a combination thereof? I’m assuming this was intentional, as it’s highlighting the journey of the survivors, and the zombies are somewhat incidental.
I have only a few minor complaints (and I do mean minor). The sex. Some scenes are sexually suggestive; some are downright, descriptive love scenes. Just my personal opinion, but having sex is the LAST thing I’m thinking about when zombies are surrounding my shelter! It doesn’t come across as believable behavior for the situation. HOWEVER, the scenes are very well written! I enjoy zombie fiction and am not a fan of romance novels but I guess the 40 million readers that bought 50 Shades of Grey were on to something, right?
Another minor detail I’d like to point out has to do with story taking place in Canada. I cannot be sure, but I’m guessing that the author is not Canadian. The survivors were moving cases of beer in the liquor store. This IS Canada – so why are they drinking American beer? Budweiser and Miller? Isn’t Labatt’s and Molson the more common beer of Canada? Also, when using some units of measure, ounces were used to measure the size of the liquor bottles as opposed to ml and liters. A few other units of measure seemed “off”, however I did notice that the rest of the book was in correct metric measurement – referring to liters, toonies, and kilometers. Living 20 minutes from the Canadian border, I guess this is more of a gripe for me personally than the average reader, but like I said, it’s only a small discrepancy, hardly affecting the readability of the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed Zombie Zone Zero. For a first time zombie writer, Robert Knight did a fantastic job capturing the thoughts, actions and overall tone of an apocalyptic scenario. The author has a real talent for descriptive writing and the love scenes are a perfect example of a writer’s passion on the pages. His character development, word choice, and style of writing parallel some of the more seasoned zombie fiction writers out there!
Available at Amazon.