Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Apocalypse Parenting

DAHMER FLU by Christopher Cox is a continuation of a short story previously published in an anthology. The storyline follows Brad's attempts to get his family to safety, even though he never really has a specific plan in mind. In fact, he rarely seems motivated to do anything, until he has the undead breathing down his neck. Unfortunately, his lack of action costs him dearly.

Many readers might find themselves frustrated with Brad, and I will admit he qualifies as one of the more ignorant apocalypse survivors featured in a novel, but I think his experiences are more realistic than the usual suburban cubicle slave-to-the-grind who miraculously becomes a survival expert overnight. Brad makes mistakes, but he learns from them, although his internal dialogue is often causes a delay in his ability to properly assess a situation.

Brad faces the typical obstacles: initial outbreak, overrun safe zone, scumbag survivors, and misogynistic militia. While his approach is stands out somewhat from other zombie stories, it's his daughter Madi who makes this a great survival tale. In a way, it's just as much her story, and I get the feeling she will be far more competent than Brad as an adult. I'd love to see Madi get her own follow-up novel.

As always,

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