More Than Just A Zombie Story

Day by Day Armageddon - J.L. Bourne

Opening Line: "January 1st 0358 hrs. Happy New Year to me"

Wow, this was a surprise! Before I begin I should tell you that I’ve never read a Zombie book in my life and I’m not a fan of the genre (although I did think Shawn Of The Dead was hilarious.) I generally read romance novels with the occasional biography thrown in. So you can imagine my surprise when I became absolutely engrossed in a book about surviving a plague of walking dead.

Day By Day Armageddon was unputdownable and had me alternating between being really freaked out,(checking doors and windows) despairing for the future of mankind  (afraid of the dark) and getting my personal survival kit ready for “that day” (weapons, food, Band-Aids, Gin) -Could I really kill my undead friends and neighbours?
Simply put this is more then just a zombie novel and this romance reader loved every minute of it.

DBDA has been written from the first person and in the form of a journal which for me increased the suspense factor. Because our unnamed hero  sometimes starts out an entry with things like “0430 hrs- I’m still weak from blood loss” before going back and explaining. As the reader you’re like, holy shit what happened last night?

The narrator is a US Navel officer who begins his journal as a New Years resolution. It all starts out rather mundanely with day to day life stuff and a few ominous mentions like this one
"It seems that something is going on in China; the local news reported some type of influenza virus sweeping them over there.”

The flu is of course the Zombie virus and it spreads to apocalyptic proportions within months. I found these parts really interesting; how the author saw the realistic (?) breakdown of society, media blackouts and the extents the US government ultimately took to eradicate the disease. In the early entries our hero spends a great deal of time describing (in a very calm manner) how he safe guards his home; locating and stockpiling weapons and ammunition, collecting food and water and having an alternate power/communication plan in action. He’s a super smart guy and although the military jargon and descriptions of guns got to be a bit much I’d definitely want him on my side.

With swarms of undead now parading through the streets our barricaded hero eventually teams up with his neighbour John and with no options left the pair flees the city, picking up other survivors along the way and dealing with a multitude of post apocalyptic problems. The futility of it all really got to me here as they struggle to stay alive under ridiculous odds. I had a hard time seeing a point to it all. (Good bet I wouldn’t survive)

This book is full of action and also a ton of well written suspense although it wasn’t as gory as I was I expecting. Don’t get me wrong though, it has its moments but its not gore for gores sake, all the kills are warranted. (Can’t believe I just said that) As silly as this sounds this book really made me think; what would I do? How could I prepare myself? Could I survive? I should also warn you that this is addictive reading and that the ending is well… more than a cliff-hanger. Just make sure you have book 2 (Beyond Exile: Day by Day Armageddon) on hand because the war on Zombies isn’t over yet. 

Highly Recommended for lovers of apocalyptic fiction, Zombie fiction, horror, adventure, disaster stories, military buffs, survivalist fiction and the occasional romance reader. Cheers!