Dark Days (Apocalypse Z) by Manel Loureiro

Dark Days: Apocalypse Z
by Manel Loureiro (Translated by Pamela Carmell)
250 Pages
Published by AmazonCrossing, October 8, 2013
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Apocalyptic

The infernal progression… From outbreak to epidemic and pandemic to sheer panic, the virus has shredded global civilization. Promised safe havens become deathtraps, lawlessness crumbles any remaining symbol of authority, and political violence in Spain threatens to erupt in civil war.

Trapped… In the thick of the deadly madness, the young lawyer finds himself escaping to the Canary Islands in a stolen chopper with a motley crew made up of his Persian cat Lucullus, Ukrainian pilot Viktor “Prit” Pritchenko, 17-year-old beautiful distraction Lucia, and Sister Cecilia, who was trained as a nurse. The distant isle of Lanzarote is rumored to be the only refuge out of the virus’s reach. But with relentlessly multiplying hordes of the living dead—and equally fatal human treachery—blocking their every move, their quest for survival is quickly becoming a suicide mission.

Manel Loureiro gives us Dark Days, book 2 in the Apocalypse Z series. Readers should note that this new release picks up where the first book leaves off. I wouldn't recommend skipping the first book or you may find yourself a little lost. It had been a good chunk of time since I read the first book, so I was grateful to find Loureiro gave readers a brief run through of what happened to get us to book two.

Dark Days begins in the air. Our group is trying to get to the Canary Islands in hopes the infection has not spread there. Our lawyer is joined by his cat Lucullus, seventeen year old girlfriend Lucia, Prit the pilot, and Sister Cecelia. Their foray into safety is short lived as Prit is accused of a crime he didn't commit. The accusation is used as leverage to force him once again back into the melee and zombie infested lands to fine medicine. Betrayed by those they trusted, the group must find their way back to each other and out of a corrupt society on the verge of a revolution.

Dammit, I really wanted to enjoy this one, and I did...at times. But there were so many things I took issue with. First and foremost, the relationship between the thirty year old narrator and seventeen year old Lucia doesn't work for me. Fundamentally, I just cant get behind it. So it makes reading the book quite uncomfortable.

The first novel was in journal form, but Dark Days does not follow suit. It is told using first person standard narration. This was an issue for me because it was one of the things I found successful in Loureiro's previous book. Also, the book seemed short, in length as well as character development. It felt to me as if the characters were drawn on a piece of paper as opposed to interweaved within the pages. Dark Days could have benefited from much more description and what I like to call the meat and potatoes. The author merely skims the surface of events and people. Unfortunately, when you do that, it doesn't allow readers to connect with a character.

When all is said and done, Dark days didn't bring anything new to the table. Been there, done that, and seen it done better. Apocalypse Z is to be a trilogy. Will I read the third book? Yes. But I'm hoping it is more on par with the first book and will redeem the series from the dent this one put in it.

Be sure to check out our review of book 1, The Beginning of the End, to find out more about the series.

You might also like: