Phew, I am still not entirely sure if I can write a review, but I will try, bear with me it might be a bit chaotic.
So I heard a ton about this book and have wanted to read it for some time. A few days ago I heard about the movie coming out on bluray (didn’t even know there was a movie, but then again it never got released here). I am always the type to read the book before the movie, especially if I am interested in the book.
This book took the zombie genre to quite a new level, at least for me. Normally zombie books are all about the action, about survival. And that is, at least a bit later, also what is happening, but mostly this book is quite philosophical. Talking about life, especially for Melanie it is something that is quite important. We quickly learn she is a zombie, but…. she is also quite different from the normal standard monsters outside. She can think, she is intelligent, she tries to control her emotions/her hunger, she feels, she has emotions, she is just a human being, just with a slight zombie problem that at times pops its nasty head up. 😛
However to humans she is just a zombie. Not that she knows this exactly, it takes her some time to piece together the parts, it was definitely interesting (but also sad as it did affect her a lot) to see her realise what she was, her sadness that she would probably never have a life anywhere. That people will want to experiment on her. It just broke my heart. This girl tries oh so hard, she is so sweet, so smart. She deserves a life of happiness.
The book doesn’t only focus on Melanie though, it focuses on Parks, on Gallagher, on Caldwell (urgghhhhhhh), on Ms. Justineau (my favourite character next to Melanie).
For those POVs, I didn’t like Gallagher that much, he was interesting, and he had some good moments (I loved how he and Melanie were checking everything out on their journey as they never seen the outside world), but also some bad moments (for instance I do not need to know about his porno stuff, or that certain girls starred in his sex dreams, no thank you).
Parks, well it took me a LONG time to like him. For most of the book I just wanted to punch him. Especially with how he treated Melanie. Yes, I know, she is dangerous, but he was just a bit too much of a bully for me. Luckily, later he redeems himself and I could see a different side to him. He turned to be a great character and I quite liked him. He was a good person deep below, it just didn’t always show because his soldier side was more dominant and more ingrained.
Caldwell, well, let me just say I wanted to feed her to the zombies. Many, many, many, many times. I still do want to do that. My lord that woman was terrible. In that way the author did a magnificent job on writing her this way. Unless of course he had a different way with her, in that case, bleh!
I don’t want to waste a lot of time on her and why I hated her, but she was just disgusting. I know anaesthetics don’t work on zombies, but really, did she have to do those things? She also endangered her group too much. Horrible person.
I loved how we found out why Melanie was the way she was. I definitely thought it might be that, but it seemed so implausible that I couldn’t believe it until it was confirmed.
The first part of the book takes place mostly in the bunker/base, with the classroom (which was oh so interesting, though I was kind of glad that didn’t turn out to be the whole book), but then poop hits the fan and we are back to a standard zombie story. One with lots of death, creepiness, and more! I do love the zombies in this one, oh yes, I do! The fact they just stand stock-still, as if they are lamps that have been turned off. But then when they see movement, or hear just a tiny bit of sound, they go to killing machines. That just creeped me out. Plus the fact that some zombies just retain stuff, and just go along with the things they did in their daily life.
Not to mention the kids like Melanie. shivers
Plus I liked what was causing the disease/the zombies. I have read many books and I have seen many causes for the zombies, but I haven’t seen many that feature this kind. And I don’t think I have read any that take it this far, and in that way. So I just have to clap in amazement.
The book had twists and turns, and like most/if not all zombie books, I do warn you to not get too attached to anyone. You may never know what happens. And no, this is not a spoiler, just read some zombie books and you will understand what I mean. 🙂
The world, and how it came to be like this, was really well described. During the journey we got an even clearer image of the destruction, of the world as it is. We also learn about other parts of the world, which doesn’t always happen in zombie books. Often it focuses on just one part of the world.
The ending? Boy, oh boy. On the one hand I wasn’t that amused, but on the other hand that ending was just absolutely perfection. And yes, it was the best idea, even if not everyone is going to agree with it.
What more? I think I have everything that I wanted to post. I can’t wait for The Boy on the Bridge, I hope it will be just as awesome as this one was! I don’t want to leave this world just yet. There are still so many angles that can be explored and explained.