A fierce young bookseller blogs the zombie apocalypse in this debut novel from Wisconsin resident Roux.
The author brings a neat concept to her tale about the end of the world—but ironically fails to land the ending. The book’s heroine, Allison Hewitt, is involved in a terrifying scenario. “They are coming and I don’t think we will ever get out,” she blogs. “If you’re reading this, please call the police. Call them now; call the cops if there are any cops left to call. Tell them to come find me.” We soon learn that Allison and her crew are trapped in the back room of a Wisconsin bookstore, while the undead roam the aisles outside. It’s not worth introducing her compatriots because, like in all good stories of the damned, most of them aren’t long for the world. What are worth mentioning are the comments left by other survivors around the world on Allison’s blog. They run the gamut from terror (“I can only hope that someone else will save my boy”) to snark (“Go easy on the crazy pills?”) to courage in the face of jeopardy (“Allison knows a thing or two about hopelessness. Listen to her and me, don’t give up man. Fight the good fight”). There are some early moments of unnerving humor—during a run for supplies at the bookstore’s entrance, Allison can’t resist grabbing a little light reading—but things soon turn much darker, and her lighter side rarely surfaces during her long, circuitous journey. Between axe-wielding skirmishes, she follows the trail of her mother and flirts with a romance with a married survivor. But along the way, she also discovers the horrible capabilities of men without law.
A treat for lovers of groaners and roamers with neither enough gore nor pathos to keep casual readers engaged.