Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day by Day Armaggedon by J. L. Bourne

After reading an infection story, I finally was able to move onto my intended reading for the summer, zombie novels. I've expressed an interest in journal style zombie stories previously, so my husband recommended Day By Day Armageddon by J. L. Bourne.

Through the main character's journal, we learn that there is word of a mysterious virus in China. The virus spreads quickly, and causes the patients to become very violent and attack their caregivers and loved ones. The US sends medical aid, then brings the aid workers home when the situation becomes too dangerous and they have been exposed to the virus Our main character is a military man, he can tell that the information on the news doesn't add up with the net sources, the military and governmental actions being taken, or what his fellow military men are observing while overseas. He begins to prepare for the worst by stockpiling supplies.

When he starts to see the undead in the streets, he decides not to answer the base's call. He determines that he'll be safer at home than on the base, this turns out to be correct. The government is in complete chaos, as is everyone else. We go with our hero on supply missions, and see how he's coping with loneliness and inactivity. He discovers that one of his neighbors has survived as well, they begin communicating and assisting each other when possible. They save each others' lives a couple of times and begin making plans to leave the area as the undead begin to overrun it.

I expect a journal to be in first person, but there were still times in which our hero seemed extremely self-centered. The story was well done and enjoyable, so I was able to get into the book. It was a quick read, and finished with a cliff-hanger ending. I enjoyed it enough to begin the second book in the series immediately, and wait to write the review for both of them.

The hero evolves in the second story. He and his friend John, over the course of the story must decide whether to answer distress calls that they hear. It is very risky to leave safe places for supplies, much less traveling a distance to save people that might not be alive when you arrive. They answer one such call, and it dramatically changes their situation. As more survivors enter the group, the journal becomes less self-centered.

Our survivors come into contact with marauders that try to take their shelter. They also must deal with a horrible consequence from the decision of the government to nuke large cities that are overrun with the dead. The zombies close to the explosion are incinerated by the blast; however, the irradiated dead are faster, stronger, more coordinated, and seemingly more intelligent than their non-radioactive counterparts. People killed by radiation sickness also join the ranks of the undead, as in this universe people do not have to be bitten to turn.

This series is a fun read, not deep or thought provoking. A great way to kill some time. I'm sure I'll read the third book when it comes out. Beyond Exile also had a cliffhanger ending. I'm interested to see which way Bourne takes the story, and resolves it.