Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Book Review: Flu by Wayne Simmons (Flu #1)

There's a nasty flu going round. An epidemic, they call it. The posters say to cover your mouth when you sneeze, and throw away the tissue. But such simple measures won't help.

Because when you catch this flu, armed police come and lock you in your house to die alone. When you catch this flu, it kills you in days. And two hours after it's killed you, your eyelids snap open again...

FLU is a pacey, terrifying, frighteningly real zombie horror story.

My Review:
I have always loved picking up zombie or flu virus apocalypse books and I picked this up with a pile of similar books. I did not find this to be one of the better ones. In fact it was a bit of a let down.

The problem lies with attention to detail and a lack of world building. I don't mean that I need a description of everything that is seen but most people when reading a zombie novel want to know how the people became infected. Nuclear war, bio-terrorism, infected water supply, vaccine gone wrong, virus etc are all favourites but really you can have ANYTHING as a cause. So in this case it is a flu. So why is it causing zombies? What is it that reanimates the dead? It is kind of important that you share it with the reader! Having that smug sort of 'I know how it happened but I'm not telling you' thing is not good and is going to hack off your readers. Details!!! We want details! Instead we are left in the dark and wondering why the author isn't giving us the detail we want.

When there is a little bit of explaining, it seems to be confused and contradict itself. If the zombies are just shells with basically no senses, how have they become so good at just turning up where the fresh meat happen to be? This is what I mean by attention to detail. I really want the author to just involve us in the story instead of holding us at arms length for whatever reason. It was too difficult to connect with the story and the characters when we kept questioning everything. There also seems to be little threat as long as you don't behave like a total idiot. You don't get that tension and delicious fear for the characters that you get in the really good zombie books. There was no real excitement or mega scary scenes for me.

I didn't like the characters either. They were pretty one dimensional and poorly developed, and they seemed intent on talking nonsense the whole time. The people just hang around until it's time to scrounge some supplies and it just wasn't greatly interesting. I think the author went for trying to be less zombie horror and more gritty realism but it just ended up pretty boring.

OK so maybe we get more explained in the next book in the series. I hope so, so that those who continue with it finally get some answers. Sadly, I won't be one of them as there wasn't really anything in the book that made me want to stick with it.

star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

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