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In what seems to be a new trend in "Zombie" and other post apocalyptic stories, this one is set in the recovery period, a generation after the collapse. That's a good thing, as I think the stories of collapse are interesting but it would be a real challenge to find something fresh and new in that area. The recovery here is not as complete as in, say, Mira Grant's stories. That leaves a broad canvas for Wellington to tell his story and he uses it well.
I was excited to see another Wellington book. I thought "13 bullets" and the books that followed it were one of the most gritty, brutal, and dark takes on the monster genre I've come across. They reminded me of John Steakley's "Armour" (there's a guy who understands what fear is). Positive is different. In a lot of ways it feels younger, more hopeful, and it's definitely less graphic in its brutality.
There are some very hard themes here, and if you're sensitive to those you may want to give this a pass. Wellington addresses the vulnerability of young women and girls in a lawless society in a very direct way that may bother some readers -- though he is never graphic or puerile in those descriptions. For me, the balance was about right. Be warned, however. If you have a history with, or are particularly sensitive to, that kind of sexual exploitation the mention of it even without graphic descriptions could be upsetting.
Overall, I enjoyed the book even though it wasn't quite what I expected.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
Twenty years after a zombie apocalypse, Finnegan lives with his family in Manhattan, a sprawling metropolis of 50,000. Everything's fine--if you don't mind constant gardening, fishing in the subway, and coping with paranoid members of the "First Generation" who lived through the worst of the catastrophe.
Things aren't very interesting. That is, not until Finnegan gets the "Positive" tattoo on his left hand, marking him out as Infected. Suddenly, he's an outcast, to be sent to a camp in Ohio. The military are supposed to come get him and take him there--but they don't make it.
So begins the adventure in this book that's less about the undead and more about survival, friendship, leadership, inspiration, and hope. That might sound like a lot for one book, especially a zombie saga, but David Wellington is talented enough to make it work. Positive reads more like Dickens: our hero explores the ravaged world, but also human behavior, and himself. While he's doing that, an incredible variety of secondary characters blooms and grows in the story.
Overall it's a very different take on the situation than the survivor-vs.-undead story. Most books in this genre don't focus on what might happen decades in the future, and Positive's scenario seems pretty realistic (if you can call anything with zombies in it "realistic.")
While the book shows great imagination, there are a few details that might annoy fans of undead chronicles--twenty year old canned food seems perfectly safe, for example, and at times I wondered if there was anything our hero couldn't do. Still, I found myself ignoring all that as I was swept away by the depth of the story and of the relationships between its many characters.
Nick Podehl does a great job as always, with different voices for all those many characters. I always knew who was speaking, no matter how complicated things got.
I've read a great deal of post-apocalyptic fiction, and I have to say this book, while clearly aimed at the "emerging adult" market, is one of the standouts. There's room for a sequel, and I hope that happens. Highly recommended for a fresh and chewy take on the apocalypse!
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
I loved the whole idea of positives. It Is a interesting twist on the zombie story. It's set after the zombie outbreak, there are still some zombies around. The books main focus is on survival, not just from the zombies but what is left of mankind too.
Finn wants to make a better world than what is currently around. Unfortunately he does not understand the word he is currently living in.
A few chapters may upset some. To be honest In real life these scenarios would happen. So I kinda expected it.
I enjoyed the narrator and the different voices that he came up with. It was easy to tell who was talking at any time. This did give away one or two surprises. I'd rather that happened, to keep up with consistency, than a different voice being used. Very well written and read.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Loved this book. Really nicely written from a believable character with some really nice twists.
In a post zombie world, people are as much of a threat as zombies.
Great great great.