I've been very leery of new books in this (sub)genre (which I'm going to loosely define as in-character found documents from the zombie apocalypse)...moreI've been very leery of new books in this (sub)genre (which I'm going to loosely define as in-character found documents from the zombie apocalypse) since I picked up Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection: Field Notes by Dr. Robert Twombly and found that the purported "year" began in January and ended in March. I didn't intend to buy this; I was just browsing, and then I turned the page and one of the notes actually made me flinch, and I decided "okay, worth the money".
It's a very fast read, which is a bit saddening; I wanted it to last longer, but I think having twice as many notes would grow overwhelming. You'd either end up with a glut of snapshot moments, or end up following people through the notes they left (which minimizes your brain having space to play so freely with who they were and what happened).
Overall: sad, occasionally funny, horrifying, cold, and persistent. Recommend for people who like zombies, people who like prop documents, and probably fans of Post Secret. ---  I do, however, love that there are enough of these books that I can say that. I own four, myself.(less)
Well, it's a crime novel. It's in a slightly alternate reality that predates the current day. It's a very fast and good read, with a beautifully set-o...moreWell, it's a crime novel. It's in a slightly alternate reality that predates the current day. It's a very fast and good read, with a beautifully set-out world. I would not call it steampunk. I definitely would call it noir.
(It made me sad I did not have a way to copy and paste stretches of text that were a page long and send them to some people I know who would really really like them.)
I am trying to think up a better review, and I will keep trying, but in the meantime I highly recommend you read it.
**spoiler alert** First off: if Norman Partridge wasn't a good writer, if the set-up wasn't interesting, if the characters didn't make me curious, if...more**spoiler alert** First off: if Norman Partridge wasn't a good writer, if the set-up wasn't interesting, if the characters didn't make me curious, if I hadn't been surprised at the end and more than once on the way through... if all these things weren't true, it would have gotten a lower rating.
Because all these things were true, I rated it better than I was otherwise going to.
The pacing seems a bit choppy in places. That's not the problem, for me; the problem is that the protagonist is an unredeemed emotionally flat overly-entitled murdering jackass. I started off working through this. I got to the point of trying to ignore it. And halfway through the third section of the book, I was slogging onwards because I was hoping that possibly the story would be redeemed by something incredibly painfully horrible happening to the man.
This wasn't an "I love to hate the guy" feeling, let me be clear. This was more of a "great, fine, he invests his interaction with the world with all the subtle emotional connection you could find in a game of Grand Theft Auto, oh he's killing more people, yay that he's noticed one girl expected him to help her but why am I expected to believe that expectation mattered and not the ones of all those people who were expecting not to be casually murdered?" I haven't disliked hearing about a character so much since a bad RPG experience.
Not disliked a character. Disliked hearing about a character. The one involves emotional investment. The other involves grinding through the pages where the character in question shows up, trying to pick up the bits that aren't flawed by his spoilt superior sulking and skulking.
The latter is particularly annoying when the character in question is the viewpoint protagonist.(less)
Honestly, I found the quality of this to take a sharp rise partway through, so much so that I'm wondering if it was more my mood than the quality of t...moreHonestly, I found the quality of this to take a sharp rise partway through, so much so that I'm wondering if it was more my mood than the quality of the stories--seems unlikely that all the less good stories were clumped in one section, you know?
That said: particularly fond of Ramsey Campbell's "The Guide" (with a shout-out to M. R. James), and P. W. Sinclair's "Getting Back" (apparently the author's only fiction credit at the time; they're listed as a humour columnist. I am saddened, as I would very much like to read more of their fiction). Worth at least checking out.(less)