Published by Severed Press on Feb 7th 2017
Genres: Zombies, Horror, Apocalyptic
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Humanity's worst nightmare is far from over...
Three months have passed since the outbreak—the pandemic giving rise to the vast army of the undead. In that time, civilization has collapsed. Towns have been overrun, cities reduced to smoldering remains. Among the ruins, there are survivors. For them, each day presents some new danger, some unforeseen challenge as, all the while, the zombie threat grows ever larger.
And so continues the Year of the Dead.
Ray Wallace returns with the second book in the Year of the Dead series, continuing the story of his disparate group of characters attempting to survive the zombie apocalypse somehow brought about by meteors that fell to Earth.
This book takes place about three months after the initial infection spread, so the characters are adjusting to their plight, some making the most of the new world order, while others long for the way things were. As one would expect from a book that is structured into small chapters – with each representing one day of the apocalypse from the POV of a particular character – Wallace maintains a fast pace so the story never gets bogged down in the plight of any one character. This can sometimes prove frustrating though as certain characters are distinctly more engaging than others. Following the serial killer Simon, for example, was far more interesting to me than being stuck with a repentant Pastor Lewis following his fall from grace at the end of the first book. But that’s personal taste, and the paradoxically good thing is you never have to wait long to move on if you’re reading about a character that is less engaging.
Perhaps the most intriguing element from Year of the Dead: Book 2 is “The Other” that a couple of the characters are able to communicate with. What is this alien-like intelligence? Is it evil or benign? What does it have in store for the remaining remnants of humanity? And who will ultimately band together to stop it?
It should be noted that there is a lot of character development and puzzle piece moving in this second book in the series, and very little pay-off. It’s all necessary, but it nevertheless means this one falls a little short of the impact of the first book, which – while still clearly the opening part to an ongoing story – felt like a more complete tale.
That said, I am still very eager to read more of what Wallace has in store as the third and presumably fourth books in the series are released, so here’s to that happening very much sooner rather than later.
3.5 Strong Survival Instincts for Year of the Dead: Book 2.