Genre: YA Horror
Published: 2011 by ETreasures Publishing
Series: #1 (Life After the Undead)
Length: 356 pages
Source: (author) review copy
“The world has come to an end. It doesn’t go out with a bang, or even a whimper. It goes out in an orgy of blood and the dead rising rom their graves to feast on living flesh. As democracy crumples and the world melts into anarchy, five familes in the U.S. rise to protect the survivors. The undead hate a humid environment, so they are migrating westward to escape its deteriorating effects. The survivors are constructing a wall in North Platte to keep the zombie threat to the west, while tyranny rules among the humans to the east.”
This book started out with a BAM! I was literally hooked on from the first page. This was actually the first time that I read a ya-horror zombie book and I liked it! Life After the Undead starts with an intriguing intro which is the first chapter (the excerpt), and then the 2nd chapter is where the actual story begins. I really like how it starts out as one early morning, our 17 year old female protagonist, Krista was going to take the bus to school when suddenly she spots a few of her schoolmates limping which turned out to be zombies! What a way to start the story! Whatever tone was the author implying, I got it. Whether the characters were scared, angry, happy, sad, I felt it.
Krista, our 17 year old female protagonist, is not like any other teenagers. Thank God. I hate those girly girl types who *always fixes their hair every minute (literally)* type of girls. There’s sooo many people like that in my school and it irritates me. Anyways, Krista isn’t one of those people who put on makeup that looks heavier than a birthday cake. She’s simple and independent which I really like! Like me, she can sense whether she’ll get along with other people or not so much. Besides that, she has a kick-ass characteristic going on and she’s not afraid to confront zombies or being with 3 (guy) strangers to get supplies from other places. There are more characters and I think the author did a very well job with Krista’s 2nd cousin’s character the most which is the antagonist. He’s the leader to the civilians who survived the zombie craze, and he is super protective with Krista. He’s so crazy and has all this different mood swings. Gahh!! I hate him sooo much, which is good because that was the author’s intention. There’s of course, romance in the story, but I feel like it was rushed and sudden. It really didn’t seem like Krista and Quinn (18 year old male protagonist) loved each other. It looked more like a crush to me.
The story was unpredictable, but sometimes the pacing were a bit too slow, like towards the middle of the book. The first half of the book was very entertaining and interesting, but after that, I think more twists and shocking events could’ve happened. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked it but not as much as the beginning of the story. I found it super cool to use the Disneyland theme park at Florida as their new civilization. Clap clap clap for that idea! I probably would have not thought of that if I was writing a zombie novel. Also, the ending was such a cliff hanger! Is there going to be a sequel to this book? I hope so!
I will never understand peoples’ fascination with the apocalypse. Why would you waste so much time and energy worrying about something you can’t change? Besides, most of the time, it never comes to fruition anyway. Remember Y2K? What a hullabaloo that was. People were so afraid computers were going to fail and throw society back into the Dark Ages that they were stockpiling supplies and moving into the wilderness so they could get away from technology. Why would they move to the wilderness? If technology was going to fail, wouldn’t they be just as safe in a city? I guess they were afraid when technology failed, everyone would go crazy and start killing each other. Either way, it didn’t happen. I wonder how those people felt afterward.
Then, there was the whole 2012 scare. This one was supposedly based on ancient prediction, so you know it was reliable. Are you kidding? Even the Mayans didn’t believe their own ancestors‟ “vision.” What happened was there had been a tablet that had the Mayan calendar carved into it. The end was broken and faded, so no one knew what it said. Our culture, being the pessimistic lot that we are, automatically assumed it was an end-of-the-world warning. But, again, nothing happened on December 21, 2012. Christmas came and went, and I think everyone, everywhere, even the skeptics, had a little something more to be thankful for. Life went on as usual, and all those doomsayers faded into obscurity.
The day the world did end was pretty nondescript. By that I mean there was no nuclear explosion or asteroid or monumental natural disaster. There weren’t even any horseman or plagues to announce the end was coming. The world ended fairly quietly. I couldn’t even give you a date because it happened at different times depending on where you were. It was never predicted, and I’m sure a scenario that no one even considered. Who really thinks the dead are going to rise from the grave and destroy the majority of the population? No one but Hollywood, and we all know those are just movies. But that is exactly what happened. Those of us that survived were left wide-eyed, mouth agape, trying to figure out what to do next.
There were a few who were able to pull their heads out and organize those left behind. They made sure the populace had food, shelter, and protection. They were saviors, the United States’ heroes. Life wouldn’t have gone on without them, and it was pretty difficult those first few years after the zompocalypse.
Sometimes it’s difficult for me to remember what life was like before the rise of the undead. I was a teenager, though I hesitate to say normal. I wasn’t deformed or anything, but my classmates thought I was strange. I had a fascination with the dark, the macabre, but I wasn’t a Goth or Emo. I read books and magazines about serial killers. I didn’t idolize them or want to be like them—hell no—but I was fascinated with how evil and black a human’s soul could get.
I wanted to be a psychologist and work with the criminally insane, maybe figure out why they did what they did. Apparently, when you’re 15, your friends think you’re weird if you have desires to help someone other than yourself. While they were worried about becoming popular and getting the right boyfriend, I was trying to figure out how to make society better.
Of course, those dreams will never come true. Society doesn’t exist. Everything I once held dear is gone. I lost my parents to the horde, like a lot of kids. Unlike some of the others, mine weren’t taken by surprise or in some freak accident; they were taken because of their own stupidity. Some days I miss them a lot, but others I believe they got what they deserved. I might sound callous and uncaring, but what about them? Why would they abandon their 15 year old daughter? It used to keep me up at night, trying to find the answer to that question, but I’ve given up asking it. No reason wasting time on things that could’ve or should’ve been.
As I stare out the passenger side window of the semi, I’m reminded how bleak the future has become. The truck rolls down a once heavily traveled highway that has been reduced to a cracked trail. Gas stations and towns dotting the landscape have been abandoned and are crumpling into the weeds that are taking them over. There are a few areas that still resemble pre-zombie destruction, and these are the military outposts set up along the road, used for protection and refueling. I use the term “military” loosely because there is no formal military anymore. It’s a rag-tag group of men and women who were lucky enough to get guns. I chuckle to myself. It’s been two years since I was last out in the world, and a lot has changed since then. I still remember the day the zombies attacked. It’s as clear as if it happened yesterday.