Official Review: Zombietown by Matthew Nicholls

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Official Review: Zombietown by Matthew Nicholls

Post by micoleon13 »

[Following is an official review of "Zombietown" by Matthew Nicholls.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Matthew Nicholls has come forward with his new thriller Zombietown. With a history in the film industry, the author has brought some of that great movie imagery into this book.

Eight years ago it began, an outbreak of a disease known as “Z”. Racing around the world, it ripped through the population, turning everyone it touched into what could only be described as zombies. Almost a decade later, the world has adapted and moved on, with each city separating the infected “Z’s” into an isolation area. In Fort Wayne, where this story is set, this area is known as Zombietown.

This book follows several separate characters as they go about their lives in this new world where horror has become a reality and “the only good Z is a dead Z” is the motto of the day. No matter what the situation there will always need to be someone to do the worst jobs, and this is the case for Jess. She works as part of the clean-up crew right in the heart of Zombietown. Not only does this have its own dangers, Jess has started seeing changes in the infected. Are they evolving and what will this mean for the rest of the population?

Amy is a hard hitting reporter always looking for the story that will make her a household name. She’s not afraid to go that extra mile to get what she wants, especially if it’s a story about the infected. Her ambition however is leading her into some dangerous territory. Will she be able to show to the world what she has uncovered or will her life be the cost?

Tying the story together are Detectives Walker and Murphy. The detectives are trying to keep the city running as smoothly as possible, but the rising level of violence hints at an upcoming clash between rival gangs the Bloods and Black Nation, especially as a new gang player has moved in. Known only as Lazarus, he’s shrouded in a cloud of mystery and terror as word of his talent and secret weapon come to light. Will his knowledge be used to take control of the city or can it mean the possibility of a cure?

Zombietown is more than just your average zombie thriller. It looks at human emotion, motivation and how people react in the most extreme of situations. There will always be those that take advantage of a situation to further benefit themselves at the cost of others. This story incorporates this into several of the characters while also having a balance with others who are selfless in their help of humankind. This is the case with the detectives, who despite their own obvious traumatic history, are still working to keep people safe.

Written in third person the characters are well created and I found myself actively disliking several, while empathising strongly with others, which helps keep them realistic. However because there where so many characters to follow, I found it confusing at times to keep all the different roles straight in my head. I had to go back and re-read in order to remember who was who, especially at the beginning.

As I’ve read or watched very little of the zombie genre, I thought this book would be a good introduction. Luckily I was right, and while the zombies do have their brain eating urges along with some graphic descriptions, it doesn’t overwhelm the story, rather it focuses on the character roles and reactions.

I found it interesting how the author was able to portray society’s ability to normalise the abnormal. After the initial shock, the infected people are shut away where they can’t be seen and the old adage out of sight, out of mind is true here with cities rebuilt as if nothing had happened. It also illustrated the gap between the well off and the poor, where money can buy you anything, food, safety and a capacity to flaunt the rules, while the poor suffer, are looked down on and are forced to scavenge for everything.

Unfortunately there seemed to be a lot of history to the characters that was only hinted at. I found this frustrating as I kept on expecting it to go into more detail, but it never did. It would have been great to get to know more about the individuals especially Jess. The ending was also very disappointing, as it didn’t come to a resolved conclusion and I was left feeling the story was unfinished.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Although I had a couple of issues with the fluidity of the story, jumping from character to character, and the quick ending, this author does write very well. There are a lot of very realistic descriptions and the writing style is easy to read, and though graphic in some areas, was not too gory. I would recommend this book to any who like zombie fiction, as well as those who want to give it a go.

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Jaime Lync
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Post by Jaime Lync »

This does sound like a good book to be indoctrinated into the zombie apocalypse type books. Your review does a fine job at enticing readers to pick up the book. Unfortunately, I feel as if I have seen too many movies and anime and read manga that deals with the subject in serious and parody styles that I am fed up of these types of stories already. Sigh. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Shreyoshi Sen »

Interesting story. Excellent review, count me in for this book.
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Post by godreaujea »

I am a huge zombie fan, and this sounds to have an original plot line! I look forward to checking it out, thanks!
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Post by Amagine »

I'm glad that even though it is a zombie themed book, the author still pays attention to th characters and their development in the story. It sounds like it will be an interesting read to anyone who likes the supernatural or horror.

Great Review! ☀
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Post by Chrys Brobbey »

It's a good thing that society has the ability to always normalize the abnormal after the initial shock, as was the case of the recent Ebola plague. The Zombietown looks like the isolation camps created for the victims. The author has exploited a common occurrence in society to craft an interesting book. Thanks for a thorough review.
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