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I wade through cheap zombie fiction like a post apocalyptic scavenger, rarely finding an author or series worth much more than 99p... This one was a very pleasant surprise, a proper honest to goodness novel with great characters, plot and dialogue. Give it a go, you won't be disappointed. Number 2 here I come!
I saw the author post a link to the series in the John Ringo Facebook group. I figured I'd give it a read, the reviews were all positive. I was expecting a decent, run-of-the-mill zombie adventure.
What I actually got was almost shocking. Dozens of well-written, thoughtful characters. Realistic children. Women that were more than just furniture, or men who happened to look like women. It actually caught me off guard! The actual zombie mechanism was cool, and the major plot twist (and I mean major!) Was handled well. It wasn't telegraphed, it was foreshadowed.
If you enjoy zombie stories, you can't go wrong with this book. The only reason I haven't started the second book is that I stopped to write this review!
When I first started A Place Outside The Wild, I was admittedly daunted by its size (it's been awhile since I've tackled a 600+ page book and free time is not something I have much of). But every single page was worth it!
The world was built in painstaking, marvelous detail. The ingenuity of the survivors truly amazed me. Some of their survival was luck (the right people being in the right place at the right time). But this luck was paired with a whole lot of skill and hard work. The characters were expertly crafted and I found them easy to relate to. Some were snarky or lovable and some were just outright deplorable. God, I love Charlie! But then again I love a good redemption story. The zombies were...just something else entirely. Like George Romero's Land of the Dead with a dash of Michael Crichton for flavor. Just a whole new beast that was even more terrifying. All of this was thrown in with a story that twisted and turned in the most thrilling ways. There was never a dull moment. And the ending! A raging zombie battle unlike anything I had ever read that was so gripping I literally could not put the book down.
I loved this book. I can't wait to read more by Daniel Humphreys.
I was extremely skeptical going into this book. I do not enjoy zombie stories at all, and this is clearly a zombie story. This sat in my kindle list for a few months without being touched, until I read the author's other book. That one was solid enough that I figured I'd give him a try here, so I sighed and started reading my least favorite genre.
This book is actually quite enjoyable. Take the zombie apocalypse, skip 8 years ahead, and then tell the story of humanity learning to deal with the psychological and cultural impact of having survived. This is a story of rebuilding and rediscovering, of humanity and their desperate need for belonging and security. Zombies just happen to be in the book. That's how I like my stories, exploration of human nature first, monsters second.
Not to say that this book lacks action: the action scenes are great. The author knows how to take you real quick from comfortable to gripping your chair with your fingernails, in a way that reminded me of the movie Signs. The last 10% of the book is such a frantic rush of nonstop burning action that you'd better hope you've got time set aside to read through it all, because you won't want to stop. And the action scenes are choreographed very well.
Characters grow quite a bit and are likable, villains are not cliched or vague, the setting is fleshed out and breathes with life, and the plot advances at a steady pace. Tension is maintained right up to the last sentence in the book, with no trailing off.
This book means that there are now two authors in the world I can stomach who write zombie books. This was well done and didn't spend the whole time just dwelling on "Hey look, gory zombies! I'm trendy!" The author actually put a lot of time into thinking it through and making his take on this genre unique and interesting enough that it felt new, and I was eager to learn more. Despite hating this genre, I can confidently recommend this book to anyone who loves a good action story which takes a real hard look at what it means to be human.
A Place Outside The Wild is not a typical dystopian novel despite its setting – eight years post zombie apocalypse – which I think makes it a unique read in the genre. The characters are fully fleshed (no pun intended), as is the world. There are twists to the plot that grabbed me by the collar and shook the crap out of me.
The story is centered on a small enclave of survivors who have managed to ‘wait out’ the zombie life-spans (or so they believe) and scratch out a steadily improving life post Z-day. They have their internal struggles: politics, psychological and social issues, that are all consequences of the apocalypse. The society described in this book is totally believable and will suck you into itself.
The overall plot arc of the zombies and their origins is also a major deviation from most of the stories I’ve seen. You are given hints throughout, some of which I admit I questioned as odd at first, until the final shoe drops. When it does, it’s a Bozo the Clown sized sum-bitch that will leave you gaping at the ramifications!
If you like being immersed in a world and surprised by new concepts to an already expansive genre, then this book is one you need to read. It puts a twist to the zombie origin story that has so much potential it will stagger you. It also doesn’t drag you to the depths of despair, but shows the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable odds. Read the book.