Let’s start off with the setting where most of the book takes place; Dessarillo, Texas, in a small, suburban housing community where everyone knows everyone. This is the place where the main character, Lincoln, has decided to live. Lincoln, is a prepper, which means he’s the type of person who prepares for the worst, and has turned his little neighborhood home into somewhat of a bunker. The neighborhood is frightened because of strange rumors they’ve heard, and they all want to come live with Lincoln now, since he was the only one who prepared.
The leader of the neighborhood crowd trying to persuade Lincoln to let some of them come live with him, is Lincoln’s neighbor, Wyatt. It’s clear in the beginning that these two do not like each other, each one preferring to shoot the other and then go have a beer, than actually working together in any way. But, fate sometimes has other plans.
Radke does a great job of character building, placing the two rivals into situations where, due to mutual advantage, they have to cooperate, mostly just to survive. She also artfully describes the zombie scenes, using plenty of gore and repulsive imagery, and she’s not afraid to pepper her dialogue with colorful language. Yeah, this is definitely not the kind of book you’ll be grabbing to the kiddos before bed. This is in-your-face, blood and guts, shoot first and ask questions later kind of story that, in all honesty, reminded me a lot of the movie Zombieland.
There is even a scene where the main characters are practicing their weapon skills in the backyard of one neighbor’s house, picking off the random zombies that happen to wander past, and the lady of the house comes out with a tray of drinks.
My favorite character of the story has to be Lincoln. He feels like a Tom Hardy kind of character with a little bit of edginess and a whole lot of snark. He fires off witty comebacks faster than he fires off his Glock, and even though he acts like he’s got a shell of titanium and doesn’t care about anyone, there is plenty of evidence throughout the story that says otherwise.
There were a few parts of the book that at first turned me off a bit. For one, the characters seem freakishly worried about trespassing, even just by entering their neighbor’s backyards. And, they seem a bit too nervous in the beginning about killing the zombies, as if the police might show up and arrest them for it. But as I got deeper into the book, I realized, these are nice, neighborly, law-abiding type folks that Lincoln chose to live nearby, and that makes the underlying humor of the whole situation even that much richer.
There are also a few ‘send the kids in the other room’ type scenes involving Lincoln and some female companions, but those scenes are not overly described or graphic in any way. Radke does reference genitalia a few times, but this is done using sixth-grade playground language, not college-level anatomy words.
The best part was by far the end. Radke throws in a plot twist I did NOT see coming, and now I’m going to be absolutely crazy waiting for Book 2 to come out!
Overall, the characters are a bit snarky and at times kind of strange, the zombie scenes were disturbingly gross, and the language at times was absolutely foul. I LOVED IT! It’s everything you’d want in an end-of-the-world zombie novel…and more! Radke’s story is brilliant!