This book is absolutely gorgeous, so gorgeous, in fact, that my brain just can't accept that these are genuine photos, and not some kind of CGI. Truly...moreThis book is absolutely gorgeous, so gorgeous, in fact, that my brain just can't accept that these are genuine photos, and not some kind of CGI. Truly stunning, and it makes me want to learn more -- and THAT is a great thing, IMO! I would especially recommend this as a wonderful resource for homeschooling families!(less)
Okay, so what we've got here is -- in some ways -- a fairly typical zombie apocalypse/survival story. Set...moreI would more fairly rate this book 3.5 stars.
Okay, so what we've got here is -- in some ways -- a fairly typical zombie apocalypse/survival story. Set in England, the story follows a group of people (soon winnowed down to the three main characters) who take refuge in a community center during what appears to be an outbreak of a highly deadly disease. Within just a day or two, however, the situation becomes much worse as the dead begin to rise.
Moody has an interesting take on this, as his zombies initially are relatively harmless, slow moving and dull -- they don't seem particularly menacing, and our protagonists initially don't believe themselves to be in great danger. Eventually, however, the survivors come to realize that the dead are becoming more aware and deliberate in their actions -- the author uses this to slowly increase the tension, and it's quite effective in conveying the survivors' inability to see what steps they should take, then their dawning awareness that this probably isn't something they will be able to just ride out at the community center.
From there, we follow our protagonists -- Carl, Michael, and Emma -- as they leave the the other survivors (who are reluctant to leave what they perceive to be safety) and head out to the country, where they believe there will be fewer "bodies" (re-animated corpses).
I think this book is about much more than zombies or even survival. For me, it had a lot to say about how individuals deal with terrible situations, and about how one person's actions can affect everyone around them.
Moody doesn't make it easy here -- he doesn't give you any clear cut answers, and we're left with many questions concerning the survivors.
Okay, so why not five stars? Well, partly because this just isn't my preferred genre -- I think fans of this sort of fiction would probably rate it higher. So take a star off for that. I'm also taking off half a star due to the nearly unrelentingly desperate situation the survivors find themselves in. I just wanted to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, to know that they were going to make it in the end. Again, if dark and unresolved is your thing, you will probably rate it higher.
I did like this book enough to check out Moody's other books, and I *THINK* I saw that a movie had been made of this book? If so, I will definitely watch it.(less)
This is probably more like a 2.5 or 3 star book for me. It was very interesting, but uneven. Divided into seven sections -- each illustrating a charac...moreThis is probably more like a 2.5 or 3 star book for me. It was very interesting, but uneven. Divided into seven sections -- each illustrating a characteristic of birds in general by focusing on one species -- some were charming (chickens), fascinating (cassowary), and astounding (hummingbirds). But about halfway through, the book started to slow down. The final four sections (hawks, pigeons, parrots, and crows) each had interesting insights, but were much weaker than the first three. The author's continual references to her vegetarianism got very old after a while, and the final section on crows went overboard with the eco-message. I would probably recommend another book -- Pigeons by Andrew Blechman -- instead of this one. I'm sure there are also other wonderful books on each of the species presented here, and it would be worthwhile to search those out for a more in-depth look.(less)