Irish zombies? Bring it!
This is another good one! Nothing fancy with this one and there's no Hollywood treatment, just honest to goodness rotting foulness and the rising dead causing havoc.
I don't really know much about Irish politics, apart from what I've seen on the news over the years, usually referred to as 'The Troubles in Northern Ireland'. The news events were peppered with acronymn's so I had a fair idea of what they were when they were mentioned in the book. The IRA (Irish Republican Army), the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), the paramilitary, Catholic's, Protestants, ... the zombie virus doesn't care which side someone is on, they're all on the same side now...
The story is a layered plot (which I love) and each section is told from varying viewpoints. I love these types of stories where over time all the individual storylines start to converge.
There's George and Norman, the policemen (good cop./bad cop). Lark, a tattoo'd junkie and his new friend McFall, an enigma who refuses to take off his knitted balaclava are joined by redhead Geri who thinks on her feet. Pat is ex IRA and somewhere along the line has teamed up with Karen, a young woman who is possibly Catholic. Army personnel in the form of Major Jackson (retired) and Dr Gallagher the crazy mental army doctor/torturer. Lots and lots of little stories all linking up to make one big story.
The zombie flu was virulent and deadly and it's not 100% clear where it came from or why, but very quickly it's less about where it came from and more about where it's going. It whips round the population with lightning speed and before you know it the whole country has succumbed to it.
The thing that I found interesting about this one was that all the baggage that the characters carried from before the plague was still hindering them in the aftermath too. They were all in the same predicament now...survive by any means possible, but they all still held their grudges against the different factions, even when it was way beyond the point of mattering. Lark, the junkie troublemaker and Norman the policeman don't trust each other and Pat the ex IRA always assumes the worst about the military and vice versa. Old grudges and prejudices taint everything.
It's just a brilliant zombie book.. Survivors, zombies, just the usual fare but really well done. I cared a lot about what happened to everyone.
Some I liked and willed them to do well, some I hated and wished death upon them....Wayne Simmons doesn't mess about though and thinks nothing of killing his people off, just not always who you were rooting for to be killed. I liked that nobody was safe, just like it would be in a real zombie apocalypse. Just because they were a main character in a book was no obstacle to death finding them.
There's a follow on book so enough of them survived to carry on in the next one. I'm really looking forward to that one too as there are hints of perhaps a cure for the plague. Knowing how this one ended I'd say that it's not going to be easy, either way but I'm sure it'll be a great read.
*said in my very poor Irish accent* "Norn Iron zombies! Go read it noy!