One day 99% of the world population just died…their throats swelled up & they suffocated on their own blood within a minute. Within minutes the world was silent.
This is how Autumn begins…
I’m a sucker for books getting to the point. Autumn opens with a single death from the unknown virus before the rest of the 99% go. It’s brief & quick but very painful…exactly like the virus.
We are then introduced to several characters that experience the carnage as people die suddenly around them. We have Carl, Michael & Emma in particular who experience the disaster but survive it. Whatever killed 99% of the population hasn’t killed them.
Alongside a bigger group of survivors they hole up inside a community centre in town while they try to make sense of what has happened. Tensions are high, fear is running rampant & almost everyone is in a state of shock…then the bodies that fell get back up.
Oh yes, Autumn is a zombie series but with a cool twist. The dead have risen but they just wander aimlessly with no direction or goal. Stand in front of them & they will just walk into you then turn around & walk the other way. There is no threat here (yet) but it is enough to scare the survivors even more.
Problems within the group continue to mount & after a huge row over soup, Michael, Carl & Emma decide to go it alone out in the world much to the disgust of their fellow survivors. All they want is safety but they don’t know what that means anymore.
The trio plan to get out to the countryside, as far away from the dead as possible. They eventually spy an isolated farmhouse that looks perfect for them for the near future at least. A place that will have its own generator & stocks of food because of its isolation. It’s also far enough away from the walking dead for them to remain undetected.
Or so they think…
Autumn is the first book in a series that shows the last of humanity in a desperate fight for survival against increasingly aware & hostile zombies. Having to deal with the shock of watching almost everyone die around them & deal with the loss of loved ones all while not knowing why they are unaffected makes for a more personal zombie story.
The books progression is wonderful to read & you feel part of the journey. From the moment the first person dies to the moment the first zombie opens its eyes…you are there & the tension never lets up. The characters throughout are always on edge & so are you as there is no time to relax.
It’s a great read let down only by the characters themselves…they are so unmemorable it’s disappointing. They come, they go…you’ll never get a proper picture of them in your head & it is hard to care about them as much. This gets better once the story branches out to just a trio of survivors & we see more of these individuals instead.
Backstory is neutered because of the characters unwillingness to discuss their past because it is too ’painful’. While I do understand this it gets tiresome by the end of the book & I couldn’t hep but hope they would stop moaning about what they lost.
Ultimately this is a book about dead people regaining some sense & becoming a threat to those that have survived the outbreak/disease. The zombies are really well described & you can even smell the stench of dead while reading some of the more nasty sections.
The build up to the books ending is excellent & while it is obvious what is going to happen you still can’t help but get excited by it.
Autumn (David Moody)