Friday, February 11, 2011

"Autumn" by David Moody

by David Moody
Published 2010 by Thomas Dunne books
308 pages

Before I start into this book I have to clarify some of the history behind this book. First of all it was written as web series online and developed into a book. The original printing of the book went out of print but after the success of Moody's books "Hater" and "Dog Blood" the book and the other 3 in the series get a new life. This is the first book in a series of zombie thrillers written by Moody.

It seems David Moody has a talent when it comes to writing zombie stories but not your regular zombie stories. In the books "Hater" and "Dog Blood," Moody wrote about a disease or disorder that caused a percentage of the population to attack with unbridled rage. These "haters" were zombie like in their action but not really. In this book the zombies are walking dead bodies, but they don't seem to attack and eat flesh.

To start things off in this zombie book, the world is suddenly torn apart by a disease that within a few hours leaves people suddenly dead. There seem to be a few that are immune and they face the horrors of their friends and loved ones suddenly choking up blood and dying where they stand. The sudden deaths leave several vehicles wrecked and bodies lying in the way.

A couple of people find they aren't the only ones that survived and set up a vehicle with a stereo playing and light a bon fire. The few survivors around hear the music and see the fire and begin moving toward the sound and light in a quiet dead world. A group of people gather in a small town community center, all in shock and all not knowing what has happened or what to do next. They all simply huddle together in the community center seeking the comfort of the living. Before anyone can work out what to do next the contagion takes a turn toward horror.

Some of the dead bodies lying around the community center begin walking around. At first a couple of the living think they may be coming back to life but after bringing in one of the walking corpses they realize that the dead are still dead and the reanimation is only a physical thing, the body is still decomposing, and there is no life or spark in the eyes of the walking dead. The bodies are all simply walking until something gets in the way then they change direction. Carl, Michael and Emma decide they don't want to just stay put and wait to see what happens, they want to leave the community center and find shelter where there are less walking dead. Out in the country sounds logical, less population means less bodies. The others in the center reject the proposal after one of the walking dead begins to try to get into the center.

After acquiring a van and some essential food items the 3 venture out and find just outside a small town a farm house. The house seems to be perfect, ought of site, hard to find, and with a generator. They begin setting up house after removing the corpse in the living room and begin working on the generator and soon get it running. The noise of the generator begins to attract the walking dead so they have to limit their time running it. The walking dead now seem to be developing into something more than just motor skills, they seem to be able to react to sound. After going into town for more supplies, the trio realize the danger of the masses of undead when they are attacked at the supermarket. The attack is not a typical zombie attack from other zombie stories where the undead attack and rip off flesh and begin eating the living. Instead the danger is in the masses. Several dozen walking dead can create a force much like a tsunami.

David Moody writes this zombie story with what at first seems like a peaceful story where the living have to learn how to adjust to a new world, but when the masses of walking dead begin to herd together the danger is not in being eaten by the undead but by trying to survive flood. Moody has written this story with a major creep factor that will keep you reading. I had a hard time putting this book down and when I did, I made sure all my doors were shut and would peek out the curtains to make sure nothing was moving around that shouldn't be.

I know I can't wait for the next book in this series, mainly because of the cliffhanger at the end but also because Moody can scare you without the violence of a typical zombie thriller.

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