This collection of short stories, in my opinion started well and got progressively weaker. The final story felt rushed. A quick attempt at trying to create some emotion filled piece that ultimately fell flat and to be honest too my thoughts of the collection from a solid 3 and a half to a nervy 3.
The stories, unlike many other collections, were not just based around a common theme, but rather one central event. Each tale was an alternate point of view piece surrounding the same outbreak. There were a few nice tie ins that ran from story to story which I thought were nicely effected.
However, the use of adverbs throughout the collection made it rather hard work in some places, and also there was a repetitive feel to some passages, with the same or incredibly similar words appeared four or even five times within a single paragraph.
The stories were solid in their structure however, and the author did a nice job of creating the atmosphere that most of us have come to expect from Zombie pieces. Blood, terror and mayhem. A break down of civilisation.
The only real cringe moment for me in the collection was during one story, the same page contradicted itself about four times. The approaching station was quiet, then suddenly it was very busy, only to be overshadowed by one that was ten times busier again in the readers own words. The zombies at the station was quiet, but made a lot of noise, hundreds of them groaning and hammering at the train sides, yet the character could hear someone urinate on the floor somewhere in the carriage. Amidst all the screams.
For the rest, the stories had a logical flow through them, and were largely entertaining. If you like zombie fiction, then this collection is certainly worth a go. In terms of story telling, the work is strong, in terms of finished product, it could have benefited from an extra edit; removal of adverbs and repetitive phrases in specific.
Aside from my feelings towards the final ‘POV’, the biggest let down in the book, and a theme recurring through many books, and something that comes with experience, is that the stories felt oddly flat. The central characters were ok, although could have benefited from a bit more ‘fleshing out’, however, there was nothing else. There was no depth around them. Ok, this is harder to create in short almost flash fiction tales, than it is in a full novel, but depth should never be overlooked. The importance of background characters, even if only in passing; a glance out of a moving train or figures moving among the shadows. It is the attention to detail that is necessary to make every book pop, to stand out from the crowd.
I would certainly be interested in reading other work by the author, and seeing him grow as a writer, for the talent is there for him to go a long way.