The world is infected. The dead are reanimating and attacking the living. In a city being overrun with ravenous corpses people find safety where they can. A disparate group of strangers drawn together by chance seek sanctuary from the carnage outside in an empty office block.
Besieged by an army of walking dead and with little hope of rescue the group must learn to work together if they are going to survive. But for how long can the barricades hold back the ever increasing hordes of undead? How long before the food runs out? How long before those who were bitten succumb to the infection? And how long before they realise that the dead outside are the least of their fears?
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character driven zombie story
as the story opens, harrison and liz and their 2 children, grant and melissa, have packed their car to go on vacation. when they come to a stop in the city, a disheveled man shambles toward them and starts banging on harrison's window. as the man smashes through the car window and grabs harrison, the young family's nightmare begins.
john heads to work early b/c sirens woke him up in the middle of the night, and he couldn't get back to sleep. i work in an office and am well aware of the different personality types. john is a frustrated it salesman, who's looking for another job, and takes the elevator to the first floor.
sharon is the boss at the it company. she's uptight to the point where she's still looking at powerpoint presentations when the dead start to crowd around the office building. she's high maintenance, highly strung, and she's a cougar. steve is the new guy sharon has her eye on. she's curt with her underlings, especially the blue collar workers that are trapped with her in the office building.
colin is woken up by early call from his boss, the high school principal. he's dejected b/c the school's week long camping trip is cancelled b/c of the public health scare. colin was looking forward to spending time w/ jenny, another teacher, on the camping trip. his grand plans of slowly seducing jenny have gone up in smoke. his boss asks him to go to school just in case some students can't be reached. on his way to school, he is hit by another car, which quickly becomes the least of his worries.
karen has only gotten a few hours of sleep after a night of partying b/c of all the ambulances going by. she is woken up by a tinking sound. when she investigates the sound, she finds out that it's her friend, shan, who's throwing rocks at her window. shan is the bad apple, and karen is the good girl, who is being corrupted by her high school dropout friend. when karen asks why shan is awake so early, she says that her father came home wasted last night and must've gotten into a fight, and when he woke up, she thought he was still hopped up b/c he tried to grab her so she snuck out her window. bored and on holiday, they decide to head to their friend's house to get high.
demise of the living is a character driven zombie story. most of the story takes place in an office building. the story starts with a few different individual storylines, which quickly merge together. however, i'm not sure if the karen/shan storyline is needed. it eventually merges with the others, but at times, it kind of distracts from what's going on.
most of the action takes place between the characters as they struggle to survive in an office building with dwindling resources. most of the conflict is between the different personality types. this is a disaster survival story with zombies.
i liked the fast start. it quickly engrosses you in the story. the middle of the story is your typical zombie survival story. it's ok. i thought the characters were stereotypical and found their actions predictable. BUT THE ENDING...the ending had a twist i was not expecting!
if you've listened to iain mckinnon's other books and liked those, then you'll probably like this one.
so if you're looking for a character-driven zombie story, you can try this. it's middle of the road. but if you're looking for a zombie battle story, try another story.
- Mike Naka