Apocalypse Z : The Beginning of The End by Manel Loureiro

Apocalypse Z : The Beginning of The End by Manel Loureiro – Translated by Pamela Carmell

Review by Sam Campbell
Author of Red Dust

The dead rise…
A mysterious incident in Russia, a blip buried in the news—it’s the only warning humanity receives that civilization will soon be destroyed by a single, voracious virus that creates monsters of men.

Humanity falls…
A lawyer, still grieving over the death of his young wife, begins to write as a form of therapy. Bur he never expected that his anonymous blog would ultimately record humanity’s last days.

The end of the world has begun…
Governments scramble to stop the zombie virus, people panic, so-called “Safe Havens” are established, the world erupts into chaos; soon it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves. Armed only with makeshift weapons and the will to live, a lone survivor will give mankind one last chance against…

Apocalypse Z follows the outbreak of a zombie apocalypse, through a first person narrative in the form of a blog and journal. A very short history of this book is that it started its life as a popular blog before becoming a novel and being published.

Starting with suspicious and shady reports from Russia, the World is quickly under attack from an undead infection. All the while the main character blogs about it from information he gains from the news and what he experiences. Sounds exciting?

The answer is oddly yes. The author did a terrific job of building the infection from its first outbreak to globalisation. With each entry of the blog the situation becomes direr for humanity and for the lead character. As the story is wrote in first person and as a blog, we don’t have a name for our lead character but this only helps to draw the reader into feeling what he feels. Perfect for making the reader feel tense when our lawyer/blogger survivalist finds himself in sticky situations and being there are rather a lot of undead around, he is often in a lot of sticky situations.  

Without creating too many spoilers, I will say there are more characters than our blogger-survivor. They are interesting and different to what I would have expected for this story. My favourite is Prit, a Ukrainian who likes to fix things “the old soviet way.” Also there is a cat in this book, the main character loves his cat and if you are a pet owner it is a unique factor to this zombie story.

The downfall of this book is that the blog style used can often defeat the “scare factor” of the zombie apocalypse because in the early cases of the book it is obvious the main character will survive tough situations because if he didn’t we would never read about it. However, I did find that I drifted out of the blog most of the time and was brought more into the story, a great achievement for the author.

If you are a fan of apocalyptic fiction this book is a great choice. With the development of the story comes the creation of a society ravaged by the undead and the implications that it has on survivors. Cities turned into graveyards, streets filled with the undead and of course those lovely people who survive the apocalypse just to turn completely bonkers.

The book has lots of gore, as is to be expected but keeps bad language to minimum.

3.5 stars for this enjoyable zombie classic!

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