by David Moody
US Publication: October 16, 2010
St. Martin’s Griffin
Description (via Goodreads):
Without ever using the ‘Z’ word, Autumn offers a new perspective on the traditional zombie story. There’s no flesh eating, no fast-moving corpses, no gore for gore’s sake. Combining the atmosphere and tone of George Romero’s classic living dead films with the attitude and awareness of 28 Days (and Weeks) later, this horrifying and suspenseful novel is filled with relentless cold, dark fear.
David Moody is not the first author to write about non-zombies. They seem to be popping up more and more as writers search for an original spin to the classic horror monster. What makes Autumn original are its characters. As I read, two things kept drifting into my thoughts. One was The Earth Abides and two, Survivors, the UK television series about a flu pandemic the wipes out over 90% of the world’s population. What do these all have in common? Characters from all walks of life. Real characters. Real dialogue.
Besides the fact that Autumn kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, I think its characters are what appealed to so many people. They are ordinary, everyday people struggling to survive in extraordinary circumstances. There are things about them you love and there are things about them you hate. They are not perfect people, they are real people. It’s easy to then insert yourself into this incredible story of survival, and think yes, I bet there would be people who react this way.
There were only a few qualms I had with the book. Mainly little details, like where were they getting their water? I also wondered about the gas pumps (petrol in the UK)–would they still be working without power? If not, the characters could siphon it I suppose, but it was things like this that went unanswered and nagged at me a bit. But not enough to distract me from the story.
Autumn is one of those books that will keep you tense, worried, and frightened from beginning to end. It’s no wonder it became an online phenomena, with over half a million downloads before St. Martin’s picked it up for publication. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars!
**I received this ARC from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers Program!