One day, my Amazon Gold Box, tired of me consistently never buying Marvel Zombies even though it had been placed there daily for something that feels like a month, provided for my consideration a different zombie book entirely, Day by Day Armageddon. And I shrugged and went for it, since I don’t read all that many zombie books. Two previously? Well, plus the Walking Dead stuff. And a little bit of digging into my archives has revealed other instances too numerous to name, though in fairness most of them do not have zombies as the primary focus. (A Song of Ice and Fire, for example.) Anyway, I guess I read a lot of them after all, and this is an example of that. Whatever. The point is, I bought it.
Then it arrived, and it was obvious that it was self-published via a small press just by flipping it open and looking at the formatting. And I sighed at myself and grumped at Amazon for tricking me, and set it on the shelf. But, as eventually was bound to happen, I picked it up again when I wanted a quick read. It fulfilled that quotient easily. Written in journal-style, it tells the story of a nameless Navy pilot chronicling his growing awareness of and then struggle to survive the zombie apocalypse of 2004. After a rocky start in which there’s less narrative and more checklist of how to prepare your home and yourself for the end of the world, he finds and his voice and starts telling a reasonably good survival yarn. There are moral quandaries, derring is done, and as always seems to be the case in the good zombie stuff out there, people are revealed to be worse enemies than the zombies.
On the downside, editing is missing, especially close to the end. I convinced myself that the misspelled words and misused homonyms could be taken as authorial color, since it’s in a first-person journal and all. But it is still a little distracting to want to be shaking some guy and teaching him what words he really means when I should be sympathizing with his plight. The lesson I’m walking away with is that I should choose not to be one of the historians who is trying to piece together the key events of the zombiepocalypse in the decades and centuries after the fact, while humanity is rebuilding, because most such records will be far less legible than his.
Here’s the weird part, though. The book is currently out of print at Amazon, and there are five sellers that are trying to get about a hundred bucks for it. It’s decent, and I want to read the sequel and all. But it’s not brilliant on a vast global scale, like these people are trying to indicate. That’s about six times retail, there. This says to me that there are definitely people out there who have the zombie obsession going on (well, and also those Zombie Walk things say that), and that they are almost certainly less discriminating about quality than I am. If this book really is as much better than the other stuff out there (as the multiple high sellers hint that it is), then I’m in for some bleak days ahead, when I eventually pick up another random one based on nothing but the word ‘zombie’ being involved.