Book #9 for 2015
This is a hard book for me to rate. It’s an interesting take on the zombie genre, and there were some really creepy, tense scenes, but I would not put this on par with, say, The Girl with All the Gifts. A big part of that is because I felt there was too much repetition bloating the book and slowing down the action. Much like with Deborah Harkness’s trilogy, I bet some tighter editing would let all three books fit in one nicely paced novel. (The big difference here is that I’ll keep reading this trilogy but can’t really be bothered to pick up book two of Harkness’s.)
I also never really connected with any of the characters. I did like that Rachel was consistently interested in observing phenomena and taking a rather scientific approach, but I hope we get to know her better in the rest of the trilogy. At this point, we don’t even know what she was majoring in, and despite a most superficial description of her relationship with Tony, she acts like they were an old married couple. And what does that mean for Joel, who seems like he is being set up as a love interest for Rachel? I also felt like Rachel’s dad was a bit of a lame prop for most of this book.
It was interesting to watch Jason destroying the town I live in. I couldn’t help but think about what I’d do if the zombie apocalypse hit. Probably make a beeline for Costco or Walmart. Good thing they’re both on my side of the tracks. Oh, hey, that reminds me — did BNSF pay Jason off? Because there is not a train blocking a critical intersection anywhere in this book. That is just plain unbelievable.
This book raises a lot of questions in my mind about the timeline. It seems like the grid went down awful damn fast, and why were there kids playing outside at 5 AM? Why were there so many people on the roads at 5 AM on a Saturday, and why weren’t any of the vehicles still running? And why did it take more than 12 hours for somebody to think of breaking into the Target for supplies? (I guess they were all over in Timnath with me.) Ah, well, I will just have to read the rest of the trilogy and see if Jason answers these for me.
I have not yet read book two of this trilogy (though I do own it) because I want to wait until book three is out. I am going on record as guessing these things are actually radioactive pine beetles from outer space.