PJV Quickie: AFTER THE END by Bonnie Dee was your typical zombie novel. Bonnie Dee delivered an action-packed zombie apocalypse that kept me on my toes, but didn’t wow me as far as originality.
Review: This is a “newly edited and revised revision” of AFTER THE END which was originally published in 2010 via Smashwords. The book was a good zombie, run-for-it, type of tale. The survivors are located in New York City, which you seem to see a lot of with zombie novels. These particular survivors are riding the same subway train and they band together for survival. Dee did a good job of describing the horror of the situation and showing emotion through the characters as each new terrible scene unfolded.
It was a good read and entertaining, but will it stand out in a few months? No. AFTER THE END just wasn’t as original as I would have liked, the setting was atypical, New York, the characters were “standard” – the reluctant hero, the not beautiful, but compelling heroine that our reluctant hero is instantly drawn to, the selfish, materialistic girl, the lesbian couple that are tough and awesome, the teen computer geek and the fat, tourist couple with some kind of crutch – which was an infant. There were also a few other characters that didn’t ring as original, but it did make for a good zombie novel.
I enjoyed it, I liked the romance between the two characters and I was horrified by a few scenes, even though the zombies aren’t overly described, or exploited for the extra gore factor. The one thing that really threw me off though was the opening scene, which was a flash-forward, a few days in advance of the timeline covered in the book. I didn’t understand the need for this forward look at the survivors. For one, you knew that a particular character would die, so their ultimate demise was not as shocking as it should be. This threw me off, but once I was in the present timeline I was okay. It actually had me wishing I would have skipped to Chapter 2.
Other than that a competent zombie novel.
Recommendations: For fans of zombie fiction, check this one out, you can’t go wrong with this title. There are violent and mature themes, so this one gets an R rating.