This story started with reports coming in to radio stations across the USA reporting the dead rising and eating the living. Of course, few believed it was possible. Since this is set in 1968, zombies and how to combat them wasn’t on too many people’s minds. In California, a small town is hit with this strange occurrence. I was really drawn into the tale at this point especially because I wanted to see how these two kids, Jake and Russell, fared.
First we get a glimpse into their everyday lives. The kids’s dad is off in Vietnam and their mother is trying to take care of everything – all the parenting duties, working, and trying to be both mom and pop to the kids. She was a very realistic character, sneaking smokes when she could. The neighbor offers to take the kids off to the fishing hole. Lucky for them, this gets them out of town for the initial outbreak.
Meanwhile, the town’s sheriff, Sheriff Baker, has been called out to deal with some lazy jerks terrorizing this farmer’s animals in the barn. She tried to scare them off with a few shots but when they started to kill her animals, she called in the police. Baker arrives there and expects drunk and belligerent drifters or farm hands. What he and his deputy find is far, far worse. Wow! It’s totally logical that animals locked in a barn wouldn’t fare well but still, that was tough. Baker was kinda boring at first but he really shined in this scene. This is where I started paying attention to him.
Once the kids get caught up in the zombie apocalypse, they have some choices to make – head for town or head for home. I found this part of the story a bit wonky. I felt it was more logical for them to head home instead of to town and the older brother even weighs out this argument in his head… and then seems to go against his own logic.
This story starts off pretty gender balanced but as things progress, the tale focuses only on the male characters. I would have liked a bit more from the ladies, especially as they are written quite well in the first half of the book. If the world is going down, I want to hear from everyone, not just the guys.
For the entire story, I was hoping but not expecting all my favorite characters to get out alive. This is not a happy conquer all the dead kind of tale. I respect that. As the book blurb strongly hints, this is not a happy ending story. Still, the tale left me wanting a little more. Yet overall, it kept me entertained and I was invested in the main characters.
I received a free copy of this book.
The Narration: Rick Gregory did a decent job with this book. His kid voices for Jake and Russel start off great. He sounds like a kid and keeps the two voices distinct. However as the story progresses, they sound more and more like the adult characters and they aren’t always distinct. That said, the pacing is good and there were no technical issues I noticed. His female voices are believable and I especially loved his voice for the old grumpy neighbor that takes the kids to the fishing hole.