At the same time that Jim is meeting up with the survivors a reverend by the name of Peterson is trying to make sense of a world seemingly abandoned by God. When he is eventually forced to flee his refuge in the church it strikes him that God must be punishing them all. Of course that is everyone but him, so after finding a group of followers he can manipulate he starts his crusade to start society over the way that God would want it to be. Eventually the two groups clash and many bad things happen. Most of them are zombie related. Who lives and who dies? Is there a cure to be had? Will the crazy reverend get what is coming to him? Read the book and find out damn it!
So the main characters are well developed. Why does that make for a good piece of zombie fiction? Well let me explain. First of all the tension and actual fear for the characters comes not from the zombies themselves, but the readers fear for these characters. The same can be said for why I found myself smiling when the good reverend gets what is coming to him in the end of the book. Second this is a zombie story, so Barnhart is going to have to kill off a lot of minor characters. It isn’t possible for him to establish all of these characters with back-stories, so what he does is show their deaths thru the eyes of the characters we are invested in. We may not care that X dies, but we will care how it affects say Jim or Susan.
This is a great book that will grab the reader and keep them interested until the very end. The characters are well developed and realistic, which makes what happens to many of them so disturbing. This is the first book in the series of four, and this is also the third time that I’ve read it. I’ve wanted to reread this one and the second before I dive into the third book of the series (which I just got my hands on). As an added bonus this is a copy of the new version of Barnhart’s book that he polished up to make it fit better with the new stuff he is writing. So this makes an excellent time to jump into the series. This is hands down one of the best bits of zombie fiction that I’ve ever had the chance to read and can’t recommend it enough.
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