I have been…well, I wouldn’t say A FAN, but I’ve thought David Moody’s Autumn series was pretty good for zombie fiction since I read the first book a few years ago. My main problem with Autumn was that I got the earlier, self-published version that was full of typos, weird sentences and wonky structure. The series was eventually picked up, and given far better treatment, and that was one of the reasons I continued.
The first book scared the pants off of me. Even with its horrible grammar and strange word choices (as well as some interesting punctuation), the story itself was FUCKING SCARY. I know lots of people didn’t care for how slowly it moved, but the pacing was just right (for me) at building the terror.
So I read the rest of the books, I enjoyed the second and the third, but didn’t care for the fourth because it didn’t have anything to do with the characters I enjoyed reading about from the first three books. I finally got around to reading the final book (Aftermath) this week, and…I was not impressed.
It wasn’t TERRIBLE, but it wasn’t really GOOD, either. See, the main reason I read zombie fiction is because they scare me. I THINK because my dad let me watch The Serpent and the Rainbow with him when I was FAR TOO YOUNG to be seeing such things (sidenote: I watched it again a few years ago to see if it was still terrifying and I laughed my way through it. That movie? No longer scary at all.)
This book didn’t scare me at all. AT ALL. No, instead of spending my nights staying up reading and worrying whether the rustling I was hearing outside my windows was something of the undead persuasion trying to get in and feast on my flesh/brains, I finished reading thinking “What the fuck is this, WHY ARE THE ZOMBIES SAD?!”
Because they are. Aftermath takes place over a series of months after the infection that killed most of the population in a matter of minutes, then caused them to reanimate, determined to get rid of the living because they were SO EFFING NOISY. Here, the zombies are obviously tired of their non-living status, and they’re just moping around essentially asking people to put them out of their misery.
I think it was supposed to be sad, but it just made me imagine a bunch of zombies sitting around in a basement, listening to 4ad and crying softly about how NONE OF THE LIVING UNDERSTAND THEM.
It wasn’t scary, it wasn’t sad – it was just ridiculous. Much like that sad zombie clown over there that I just whipped up for you guys. SEE HOW NOT SCARY THAT IS?! That’s what this book was like. I couldn’t stop thinking about how fucked up the whole situation was, that I was supposed to be FEELING BAD for the zombies and it ruined the whole series for me.
I’m not going to tell you guys what to do (even though I realize I’m usually the bossiest of bossypants), but if you’re thinking about reading this one – don’t.
Sad zombies are teh lame. Seriously.