Book Review: Autumn by David Moody

Book Review: Autumn by David MoodyAutumn by David Moody
Series: Autumn, #1
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on October 26th 2010
Genres: Horror, Zombies, Apocalyptic
Pages: 318
Goodreads
four-stars

A bastard hybrid of War of the Worlds and Night of the Living Dead, Autumn chronicles the struggle of a small group of survivors forced to contend with a world torn apart by a deadly disease. After 99% of the population of the planet is killed in less than 24 hours, for the very few who have managed to stay alive, things are about to get much worse.

Animated by "phase two" of some unknown contagion, the dead begin to rise. At first slow, blind, dumb and lumbering, quickly the bodies regain their most basic senses and abilities... sight, hearing, locomotion... As well as the instinct toward aggression and violence. Held back only by the restraints of their rapidly decomposing flesh, the dead seem to have only one single goal - to lumber forth and destroy the sole remaining attraction in the silent, lifeless world: those who have survived the plague, who now find themselves outnumbered 1,000,000 to 1...

My Review:

11am Tues Sept

99% of the world’s population is dead

Okay.

I didn’t realize that this was previously released for free online and made into a series and a movie. If this was published today, I would say that it was unoriginal and offered nothing new other than a glimpse into the lives of some survivors. Seeing that it’s more than ten years old, it was probably fresh back then.

Sometimes we read these stories and gloss over or miss how catastrophic an event like this is. In this one 99% of the people in the world dies in 24 hrs. Shortly thereafter some of them start moving again, and then they become violent. Even if you left out that last part, being that 1% that is still alive has to be frightening. The feeling of aloneness has to be suffocating. To want to befriend anyone to preserve your sanity; to need to befriend even unlikable people to preserve your life. Surviving in a world where you have to fend for yourself. Where all of the conveniences that you’ve grown accustomed to are no longer available, or won’t be for much longer.

There is something in the writing that makes this feel real. Maybe because there are no superhero types; just real ordinary people caught up in something that none of them (except our preppers in the NW) are prepared for. Their fears, hopes, and indecision are believable. Their stupid mistakes, a little less believable. To be fair, some of the mistakes are due to lack of imagination. There’s one scene where I’m yelling at them to take this particular item with them to protect their hideout but they don’t. They could’ve used it, but then there would have been less tension in the story. Silly me, always wanting to be safe.

I didn’t like any of the characters. Which is understandable given the circumstances. These are adults faced with a catastrophic event with nowhere to turn to for guidance, answers or security. Freaking out a bit is par for the course.

The author co-wrote the screenplay for the movie Autumn (2009). It was bad. Just goes to show you that even having the author write the screenplay won’t guarantee a good product. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it but IIRC, it could have benefited from good actors and a bigger budget. If it couldn’t get both, then better actors. The atmosphere the author created in the book obviously didn’t translate to the big screen.

I enjoyed this for what it was, but I am not sure if I’ll continue with the series.

How cool is that cover? I wrote this review just so I could show it off 🙂 Okay, 90% cover, 10% to share my thoughts 😛

 

four-stars

2 Comments

    1. Thanks, O. I love this cover – the simplicity, the close-cropped headshot that’s slightly bigger than the book cover area and that it helps tell the story.

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