Seventeen-year-old Krista must quickly figure out how she’s going to survive in the zombie-destroyed world. The one advantage humans have is that the zombies hate humid environments, so they’re migrating west to escape its deteriorating effects. The survivors plan to construct a wall at North Platte to keep the undead out, and Krista has come to Nebraska to start a new life.
Zombies aren’t the only creatures she has to be cautious of—the other survivors have a dark side. Krista must fight not only to live but also to defend everything she holds dear—her country, her freedom, and ultimately, those she loves.
If you asked me a few years ago, I would have said I absolutely hated zombies. I wouldn’t read anything about them nor watch anything about them. In truth, they freaked me out a bit. Most likely because to me, it seems as if the idea of a “zombie” is more plausible than any other type of supernatural or paranormal creature. I mention this, because it’s my past views on such events as a zombie apocalypse that really helps me to initially connect with Krista. And as any reader can tell you, that can make or break a book.
In this case, it completely makes the book. Krista is a bit odd from someone so young. Unlike the other girls, she’s not focused on frivolous things like Project Runway and boys. This is what helps to make her a survivor when everything goes to hell and back. And honestly, it’s her ability to keep her head, remain sensible and actually question things that make me really adore this character. For example, she comes upon a group of survivors, some of who are soldiers from a nearby base. As the undead pursue them, one of them suggests they can find sanctuary in Florida. This might not seem odd, but at the time they were in Oregon. After they finally make it safely to Florida, she begins to question how he knew to go to the only safe place in the United States. This is sensible, especially in light of everyone moving into the Disney parks and going on with their lives as if nothing has changed.
There are some great themes going on in this book, especially in regards to the different reactions people have when things go wrong and how quickly greedy people take advantage of difficult situations. I finished the book wanting to know more about the beginning. How did it all begin? Why did no one on the East Coast warn the West Coast if the undead started to attack two weeks before it reached Krista in Oregon? Why did the dead really abandon Florida and why are they inhabiting primarily the Western part of the United States? Who are the five families and what is their part in all of this?… the list just goes on and on.
As much as I thoroughly enjoyed this book and finished it in two sittings (I had to eat sometime), it wasn’t without its faults. I struggled to maintain my sense of disbelief at times. For one, making a trip from Oregon to Florida in two days is hard by today’s standards. In the event the undead were attacking and everyone was abandoning their vehicles, how did Krista and the survivors make the trip in three days? Also, two years later, Krista is constantly making runs for the town she’s in, with large trucks. Where/how are they still finding the fuel for these things? In truth, these are minor things that can easily be over looked. I just happen to question them because I am a curious creature and it didn’t always seem like it was plausible.
Despite those little details, the author did a great job with building a complex zombie-apocalyptic world. There are many layers to the story, especially when you focus on things like Liet’s odd behavior towards Krista, the reality of what is really occurring in North Platte and why the wall is not being built, and the established hierarchy among the survivors. Liet clearly exhibits classic signs of abandonment issues, but there’s more to his behavior than that. It’s almost as if he has a sexual attraction to Krista. There’s a scene where she finds a girl he’s bedding, in her room, wearing her clothes. I immediately thought he was having her dress up as Krista for sex. As for North Platte… so far out from under the five family’s thumb, Liet is doing whatever he wants. I wouldn’t even be surprised if the town is a ruse for culling the ever growing population in Florida. Especially when you consider they tended to choose ex-cons, lazy people and unskilled workers…
And I just realized I’m talking myself in circles here. But that only proves how much I enjoyed this book and why I am going to highly recommend it to anyone who likes horror (because of the zombies), post-apocalyptic/dystopian books. It’s a great read that was fast paced and entertaining. I can’t wait to read the next book, so I can get some answers to my plethora of questions.
Reviewer’s note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Pick up your copy on Amazon: Life After the Undead by Pembroke Sinclair