Before we get to the book review, I wanted to let you know that this Friday, the 27th, at 9 am MST/11 AM EST, I will be meeting with four other Word Warriors to argue Paperback vs. Ebooks! Mark your calendars and come on by to weigh in through comments and let us know what side you are on!
Alrighty, on to the review!
Genre: Science Fiction/ Zombie Apocalypse
Synopsis: A story of survival trust and fear. The first in the series, Winter Smith is ripped from a rich lifestyle and forced to survive... The zombie virus has torn through the world, and Winter and a group of survivors must get to the Thames. Winter deals with the loss of her parents, the harsh reality of promised safety, and learns that not everyone can be trusted...
My Take: As far as debut novels go, this is pretty darn good. I know a couple of months ago I wrote about how I was beginning to be a little bit... tired... of Zombies. But this book restored my love of Zombie goodness! This series shall be quite interesting because it brings us back to what Zombies truly should be, a looking glass through which we can take a lens to society and study it.
J.S. Strange does an excellent job with this.
Also, his zombies are as zombies should be, decaying flesh and horrible grossness. YES!!!
But what really matters is how a situation like this affects humanity. Strange takes a lens to classism with his tale. Winter Smith is a teen celebrity by extension of her family's wealth and an unfortunate incident that happened when she was 14. She hates being in the spotlight, but when a party her family is holding is attacked by the undead, Strange shows how classes will not be protected by a catastrophe like this.
Throughout the story we see people trying to survive this complete upset of societal dynamics, and slowly turn on one another. We watch as some try to cling to the old class systems, while others power forward in an effort to survive.
The end is a great tease for the next book, hinting at more study of societal norms. I am definitely watching this author.
Now, of course no book is perfect, and there were several things that annoyed me in this book. Is it a British thing to refer to all surfaces on the ground as "floor"? I ask, because this is the third British author who I have had this annoyance with, so if it is a British thing, then it isn't technically poor grammar as a culture clash.
But it threw me out of the story every time someone fell to the floor, and I knew darn well that they were outside and it should have been gravel, grass, detritus, or any other word than floor!
I was disappointed that I didn't like Violet more. I think I was hoping she would be a sort of Hooker with a Heart of Gold trope, but I give mad props to the author in that none of his characters felt very cliche (well, except for Missy and Winter's parents, but they barely got 5 pages of story, so... yeah.)
Winter isn't what I expected. Why should Violet be? But I wanted to absolutely love Violet and I just didn't. I can't say that I absolutely loved any of the characters, but they are so messily human, so utterly believable that despite not loving any of them, I am interested in seeing where the story goes and how this crisis shapes who they become.
Have you read London's Burning yet? Do you agree or disagree with anything I have written? Let me know in the comments below.