Published by Henry Holt & Co. on August 3rd 2010
Genres: Adult, Horror
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Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.
For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.
~SPOILER ALERT- YOU ARE THUSLY WARNED~
Where the fuck do I even begin with this?
Oh, hi by the way. Please excuse me. I currently riding a wave of such bitter disappointment that is without the shadow of a doubt… Look I’m not gonna mince words. I feel fucking awful. And it is thanks to this shitting book. I DNF’d at 61% because I literally couldn’t take any more of this… awful… just plain bad… terrible fucking book.
Look at that blurb… Look at it. How fucking awesome does that sound? Seriously. Post apocalyptic world. Zombies. Kick-ass heroine. Blood, guts, gore… Essentially I was expecting a modern Odyssey of epic fucking proportions. And what did I get? Fallout for idiots… on a zombie painted backdrop. That was essentially the tone that I was beaten about the head with. I mean seriously. There was nothing in the least bit original in this. Not even the mutants, which were introduced not long before I DNF’d, were original.
I mean come on Mr Bell. Please, for the love of all the undead shambling masses you totally fucked up, TRY HARDER! And by try harder I mean actually learn to write a structured tale. I got to 61%… where was the plot? All I encountered plot wise was literally, “well maybe I’ll keep moving”. Fucking what? What the fuck kind of plot is that? It worked in Lord of The Rings because all they had to do was walk and drop a ring in a volcano… BUT THS IS A ZOMBIE NOVEL!
The zombies and the post apocalyptic world were little more than piss weak set dressings. In her travels our 15 (or 16, she can’t decide) year old heroine encounters a colony in skyscrapers, a few eccentric hunters, a mentally handicapped man (who she calls Dummy, which I found offensive), probably the only racists left on the North American continent (seriously they have black servants they refer to as boy and girl), and a group of mutated nutters who inject themselves with zombie brains… to become zombies… with brains. Yet despite all of this… nothing actually happens. Well one thing happened and that triggered this road trip, but other than that it is just so much flowery writing with shockingly poor attempts at dialogue.
I have a request now. Seriously… Raise your hand if you understand that speech marks are necessary. Cheer if you, like me, understand that they don’t interrupt the flow of the writing, and that they actually preserve the flow by indicating when speech has started. Not in Alden Bells novel. No, sir. Speech Marks are too mainstream for this piece of “literature” (and I promise, that is used in the loosest fucking way possible). Let me show you what I mean. Here is a dialogue quote from the book. As it would flow in the book.
Oh, he says. Just somethin I saw a long time ago.
What was it?
It was in a place called Sequarchie, he says, speaking slowly. That’s in Tennessee. I was just passin through, and there was this woman…
Fuck me with a machete up the arse. This is not how you write dialogue. This is not how you keep the reader engaged in the tale. KINDERGARTENERS KNOW THIS! It’s one of the basic fundamentals of the English language. Why change what isn’t broken?
There is no excuse for it. Especially in a novel that has been traditionally published. I can’t comprehend how this was even picked up. The one saving grace for it was that some of the descriptive writing was gorgeous. But other than that… no. I’m sorry. I’ve read better zombie fiction in the novelisation of Dead Island. Fuck even Night of the Living Trekkies was better than this!