“Autumn” by David Moody

This Author may seem familiar to those that have either done a deep dive into the blog, or have been here from the beginning. I adore Moody’s writing, and years ago I reviewed his ‘Hater’ series that I read back when I worked at the book store. Because of my constant raving about his writing, my husband wanted to try reading his work. I didn’t actually own any books of his, so we went to a local book store and looked up what they had. That is how we came across this series. It’s much larger than the Hater Trilogy and I’m super excited (even though we only own two …I need more).

My husband read it a little while ago, and absolutely LOVED it …but his review of it was really confusing. “It is an amazing book and absolutely nothing happens!”

That sounded like a challenge to me.

Though, before I start this review I will mention, this is a zombie book that started with a respiratory epidemic. A little too topical. They are suspecting that many of us will come out of this with a form of PTSD so don’t feel obliged to read this review if you are having a hard time right now. You are always welcome to swing back around and read it later.

That being said …Moody is a horror writer and writes it well. His stories are slow burn which is why think a book where nothing really happens works for him.

Unlike Hater, we are following several characters. I was expecting a little intro into someone’s life and then slowly developing into a zombie horror. Nope, every character is introduced basically by people dying all around them. The disease starts with a cough, then in seconds their passageways close off and they die. Within minutes classrooms and workplaces are wiped out, leaving one person standing alone, in shock. The first survivor found an abandoned rec centre, and in hopes of finding other survivors, started a fire in the parking lot.

Sure enough, stragglers started to show up. There is nothing uniform about the survivors; young, old, male, female, rich, poor. There is just something about them that made them immune. The survivors huddle together, raiding the kitchen of the community centre and finding camping rations.

The majority of the story revolves around the survivors trying to come to terms with the loss. Many lost family, children, friends, everything. Moody likes to get into the human nature and psychology behind these kinds of horror events. He did the same in Hater. I think that’s what keeps the story going even when 1/2 of the book is spent with a handful of people in a community centre. Scenes are always moving forward because the people are always active, either physically or mentally.

Because of the sudden onset of the disease, there are bodies everywhere, dropping where they were. The survivors caught sight of one of the bodies twitching and trying to get up. Thinking they had mistaken a survivor they go to check. Dead body. But it was trying to walk. About half of the dead bodies reanimated. But no lurching, “brainsss” grumbling, shufflers here. In typical Moody slow burn fashion, they simply walk. The survivors could even go out and touch them, grab them and turn them in another direction.

The rising dead are enough to spook the survivors and squabbles build within. It gets to the point that three break off to take their chances at finding a safer place. Michael, Carl, and Emma become the new protagonists we follow. They find an old farmhouse they can reinforce and survive in.

Survive …up until the zombies start reacting to noise. Are they evolving? Learning? Waking up? What will that lead to? Are the survivors truly safe? And how far did this virus travel?

I love me some good zombie horror …let’s be real, I like bad zombie horror too. But this book, is really good zombie horror. You feel the tension, the fear, the frustration. Sometimes the people are logical, sometimes not, and in the times of pandemic, we are already witnessing both of those sides. I love this series and if you’re a horror fan, grab his work. Any of it!

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