Nov 07, 11
Read in November, 2011
After listening to the audiobook, and enjoying the book but not the narrator, I "re"-read the book pretty much straight away. I found that some of the problems that I had were with the writing as well, but yet I still really liked the story, the world, and the philosophy. 4.5 stars?
This is the first zombie book I've read, and I was surprised by both the lack of gore (then again, it's YA), and the examination of human nature. The post-apocalyptic world itself is done very realistically, and I can see how, even 15 years later, the population has ended up with the mentality it has (stay in town to stay safe; there's nothing else out there but zombies). The people react to the zombies and events outside the town fence the way that people react to disasters in other countries (who thinks about post-earthquake Japan any more?).
There is a lot of exposition done in long conversations and stories told, but I don't mind this. It seems like it's the way that things are done in this society (nobody's written a book about First Night yet). Some of the casual conversations are done really well, and some (especially the speech of the teens) seems a bit forced. Dialogue during the action scenes is either spiels by the baddies or the goodies yelling each other's names. The action scenes were fairly well done, but there were a couple of times when I had to go back and re-read/listen because I couldn't work out how some people escaped or ended up where they were. On re-reading, I'm still not sure.
I've read some reviews that say the character development was forced and told to us rather than shown. I think that Benny's character arc was believable, though, as were the rest of the characters'. I think the characters were developed quite well for a YA book, and the romance aspect didn't bother me either.
Overall a really good book that made me think about bigger issues while still being entertaining and a quick read. I gave it 5 stars to up the average a little bit.