Cheryl's Reviews > Zombie Fallout
by Mark Tufo (Goodreads Author), Sylwia Serwinska
The Zombie Fallout Series by Mark Tufo thus far consists of Dr. Hugh Mann (a prequel), Zombie Fallout, A Plague Upon Your Family, and The End.... Although distinct books, I am reviewing them together because that is the way that I read them. Once I finished each book, I was so wrapped up in the story that I immediately purchased the next. Cumulatively, they are an epic apocalyptic tale, which reminded me of Steven King's The Stand and Robert McCammon's Swan Song.
If you read the first book, and are anything like me, you'll feel compelled to read the entire series. I recommend that you read the prequel Dr. Hugh Mann after the third book. It makes perfect sense then, but is a different story and style from the rest of the books. Zombie Fallout (book 1) sets the stage and is a better starting point.
Told in diary format primarily from the point of view of Mike Talbot, a tough and crude ex-Marine and self-proclaimed survivalist, the series follows a small group of family and friends (and the amazingly flatulent bulldog Henry) who are doing their best to survive a zombie apocalypse caused by a tainted swine flu vaccine. Led by Mike, they stay one small step ahead of the zombies who turn out to be a bit more complicated than George Romero envisioned. Mike's perspective is hysterically funny, primarily because he is a bundle of contradictions - a big tough man afraid of germs and bossed around by his wife, a survivalist who makes plans that are so half-baked that he calls them "ideas" instead of plans, and a ruthless killer who is tender, fiercely protective of his family, and takes incredible, spontaneous risks for strangers. Mike is a down to earth, farting (but never in front of his wife), and beer-drinking man. As such, the humor is sometimes a bit crude, but this makes the story ring true. Mike is also unfailingly loyal, which is endearing, as he cares for a motley collection of friends and family. His friends, particularly the enigmatic Tommy, make for an interesting supporting cast.[return][return]In the first book, Zombie Fallout, Mike encounters his first zombie while wearing a towel. The zombie is licking the peephole in Mike's front door, which outrages the germophobic Mike. This sets the precedent for the tone of the book. Mike's first priority is to rescue his son from Walmart, where he was working when the zombie breakout occurred. He also rescues Tommy, the "slow" door greeter who has an infectious grin, incredible girth and strength, and an unfailingly good nature. Tommy joins Mike and family, and the rest of the story is about their retreat to their gated community and their attempt to establish a safe haven. Along the way, Mike encounters a female zombie who he senses is somehow especially evil, and he begins to suspect that they are dealing with more than just a simple zombie outbreak.Elements of horror, paranormal, supernatural, and dark humor elevate this series beyond your typical zombie fare. These elements, along with Mike's quirky personality & fierce, protective love of his companions, make this series poignant and worth reading. Highly recommended.