If you've read my previous blogs – Zombie tales for people with brains and Preparing for the forthcoming Zombie Apocalypse, you will know that over the course of the last year or so – and much to my own surprise – I've come to really enjoy this genre.
In the case of my most recent column, someone commented "Max, add The Reapers are the Angels to your reading list." So I bounced over to Amazon.com to take a look, and this did sound like a rather interesting one, so I purchased a copy.
This is like no other Zombie book I ever read. We discover that there was a Zombie Apocalypse around our own time, but we never learn exactly how this started. We join the tale about twenty-five years in the future in post-apocalyptic America. There are Zombies all over the place, and they aren’t to be trifled with, but they also aren’t very bright and they don’t have superhuman speed or anything. Civilization has survived here and there in small enclaves, but there is no law and order per se.
The story revolves around a 15-year-old girl called Temple, who travels around from place to place, trying not to get into trouble, but dispatching zombies without remorse if the occasion demands. Although Temple tries to appreciate the beautiful things in life, she also dwells things she's done in the past. We don’t discover what these things are until later in the story; and when we do learn everything that happened, we want to shout out "It wasn't your fault, don’t blame yourself!"
As one reviewer on Amazon said:
The language is flawless. It is unobtrusive, but lush and almost lyrical. The pacing, too, flawless. Not a passage drags, nothing wasted. The characters are strong and believable; their motivations make sense; their voices are clear and distinct.
I agree. I cannot improve on this description. As an example, consider the very first sentences in the book, which read as follows:
God is a slick God. Temple knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe.
Like those fish all disco-lit in the shallows. That was something, a marvel with no compare that she's been witness to.
You have to admit that this is almost poetic in nature. It's written from the point of an outside observer, but using Temple's language to describe the way she sees and thinks of things.
Another reviewer commented:
An exquisitely bleak tale and an unforgettable heroine whose eye for beauty and aching need for redemption somehow bring wonder into a world full of violence and decay.
As to the ending... I cannot tell you what happens without spoiling the tale. All I can say is that it was completely unexpected and left me gasping. I actually finished reading this book about a week ago, and I'm still thinking about the story as a whole and the ending in particular.
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