If anyone had told me that one of my first reads of 2017 would be a Zombie novel I would have said, ‘Nah! You’ve got to be joking!’
So how come?
The truth is I went into this book having read one two-line review and the blurb. I was just looking for something ‘different’ and that is exactly what I got.
It starts with Melanie, a young girl, in her cell. She is strapped into a wheelchair every day and taken to her class for lessons by Miss Justineu. We don’t know why she is being held but the routine is clearly draconian. Then we discover Melanie and the other children have a once -a-week shower and are fed on bowls of maggots. Something is very wrong.
What follows is a story with a lot of very human qualities. Not only is Miss Justineu very concerned for the wellbeing of her charges, especially Melanie, but Melanie cares deeply for her. Questions of ‘the future’ begin to arise; after all the children are research subjects and some of the children seem to be taken away and never come back. Then the ‘base’ is attacked and a small group including Melanie and Miss Justineu are thrust out into a nightmare world of Hungries and Junkers.
I loved that this book was not just a scenario of Us against Them. The little group fighting for survival have problems within their ranks as well as without but the relationships and moral dilemmas seemed real.
The author does a great job of describing the cause and progression of the ‘outbreak’ and whilst the ending was probably the only one that could have worked I loved that there was no cop-out at the end of a very original story and that the conclusion was as it should be.