4 out of 4 stars
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Last Another Day by Baileigh Higgins is the first book in her Dangerous Days series. When a virus breaks out and makes its way into South Africa, people are forced to react quickly or face certain death. Morgan's ideal morning certainly doesn't start with her husband waking up and immediately trying to kill her, but that's exactly where she finds herself. It becomes apparent that Brian is no longer in control of his body, and Morgan makes a choice that no one should be forced to make. Once she escapes, her only thought is getting to the rest of her family to make sure they are safe.
On her journey she meets up with other survivors. Eventually, they form their own little community with everyone bringing their own set of skills to contribute. More people means more personalities to deal with and more supplies needed. It soon becomes evident that zombies aren't the only evil still lurking in this new world. Trusting the wrong person could mean the difference between life and death.
As a fan of zombie tv shows and movies, I've never found a book on the subject that I really connected with until now. The story leaps off the page immediately. The action is so well written that everything is easy to visualize and it played out in my mind as if I was watching it on a screen. Apocalyptic books are difficult to get right because too much action can leave the reader overwhelmed and exhausted. Conversely, describing too many details of daily survival becomes mundane. The author manages to strike the perfect balance between the two for a steady pace throughout the book.
The novel is told through multiple points of view. This really helped build a fuller picture of what was happening throughout the country. The main characters were easy enough to differentiate between and follow, but I did get a little lost with some of the secondary characters. However, if I forgot who someone was, I could pretty easily identify them through the context of the story. The setting of South Africa became almost another character in itself. The surroundings are described so richly that I really felt as if I was there.
Many of the themes in this novel will come as no surprise. Survival and good versus evil are just a couple of the more obvious ones that are often found in apocalyptic books. One topic that I was surprised to see included was mental health. One of the main characters talks about having dealt with depression in the past and goes through a mild relapse. Mental health isn't an issue I often see explored in these types of stories and I thought it gave a realistic touch.
Overall, this was a really well thought out book and I honestly can't think of any negatives. I did find two errors but they were very minor and did not detract from my reading. I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. If body horror makes you squeamish, I would definitely suggest you skip this book. But fans of horror and survival stories will not be disappointed. This was easily the best zombie book I've read and I will absolutely be reading the next one in the series.
Last Another Day
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