Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Feature: Luke Duffy and Zombies

Been trying to catch up zombie series...just finished a series by Luke Duffy that I started back in 2012...

When There's No More Room In Hell introduces two brothers, Steve and Marcus, in two different countries when a flu virus ravages the world's population. One brother tries to hold up in his apartment with his daughter, until it becomes apparent that there is more to this virus than just a fatal illness, and he tries to survive with others (including his brother's family) at a safari park. The other brother, a marine now working with a private security team, realizes that he will have to journey through several hostile countries to get back to his family.

At first, I was more interested in the security team's situation, but when the two storylines begin to merge together, I was sitting on the edge of my seat, racing through pages, wondering if the brothers would ever manage to be reunited. Somehow Luke Duffy managed to take the typical zombie survival story and turn it into an action-packed family drama overflowing with all kinds of horror - not just the undead threat.

Book 2 begins just after Marcus' group is attacked in France, but the battle is sort of skipped over. While I was more interested in the security team in Book One, Steve's group becomes far more interesting in the sequel. The survivors at the Safari Park are being sabotaged, and several new characters are introduced into that particular storyline, such as Stan and Kieran who appear to be nothing more than troublemakers not taking the outbreak seriously at all. I wondered how Duffy would tie everyone together.

The development of the characters accurately reflects the passage of time. There is also a good balance of undead action and personal interactions between survivors...BUT, thinking-zombie Andy, although still a minor character, is an absolute gem within this series. No major cliffhanger - even some loose ends are tied up once and for all - but the characters' fates are left uncertain.

Book 3 begins twelve YEARS after Book 1 began, but it immediately flashes back to the experiences and eventual exodus of Safari Park. There are layers and layers of action, and a horrific slaughter of the survivors...I wasn't sure how any of them were going to make it to the end of the series with everything that goes wrong. Once again, Andy the thinking-zombie steals the show.

The last book of Luke Duffy's series has one of the best endings to a zombie series that I've ever read. The epilogue is a great addition, and the characters leave a lasting impression long after the series is over.

As always,

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