The blurb of this book is incredibly confusing, talking about a little girl being strapped into a wheelchair at gunpoint.
I had no idea what I was getting in for.
I’m not going to give much away but if you want a complete surprise, don’t read on. It is incredibly difficult to talk about this book without giving anything away!
This book is a very different sort of dystopian zombie novel. The central character, Melanie, is as lost as we are, with no idea of what is happening in the world outside her classroom. And so we learn as she does. By learning through the eyes of the child it is easy to follow – we are not just plonked into the middle of a world with a vast backstory and expected to catch up.
What I found most intriguing about this novel was the usage of the present tense. It created a really vivid sense of reality, causing deep consideration about how very likely the scenario is.
It also raises intriguing questions about the ethics of science. There is a slight implication that scientific curiosity sparked the zombie virus but even more hair-raising is the question of how far to go in the name of science. In the search for a cure, scientists are keeping and dissecting conscious zombies. It is heartbreaking to be a part of Melanie’s fear as she discovers what is happening.
This book was a definite win. I don’t often enjoy the idea of zombies but this read felt more intelligent. None of the characters were villainised – they are all complex, even in the simple prose used. And the present tense just makes it seem so much more eerie – I am still considering what we, as humans, are capable of bringing upon ourselves.