As a squeamish fan of post-apocalyptic horror, I like to come across books that concentrate on the way humanity deals with the end of the world, rather than the monsters that cause it. The Undead series by Eloise J Knapp is just such a work. And my, isn’t it just a piece of work?
The Undead… introduces us to Cyrus V Sinclair (“CVS”), the V stands for… well, you’ll find out.
CVS is self-centred, cold and a bit of a psychopath. That’s the way he feels about himself, and the way he wanted the world to regard him. The end of civilisation hasn’t phased him; in fact, it’s a pretty damned-near perfect scenario. Until other survivors start encroaching on his space, and he has to evolve as a person, or be left behind in a world full of uncertainty.
The first book of this series, “The Undead Situation”, is a considered book. The prose is steady and the characters are fleshed out well. We meet characters that could actually exist should the shit really hit the fan, and Knapp writes at a pace that keeps you turning the pages.
The conflicts between the characters is real, and whilst I initially thought some of the action would be stilted with it being in the first person and from CVS’ perspective for the majority of the book, this is not the case. You get to travel through the end of the world in CVS’ head, and whilst it’s not a pretty playground, it makes for an interesting ride through the end of times.
One thing I do desire (and indeed, expect) from a book that is first person perspective, is evolution of character. We definitely see this with CVS, and “The Undead Haze” gives us a more world-weary and realistically self-aware protagonist. This awareness makes CVS unsure of himself, and this makes for an interesting continuation to the story. I speak in vague terms here; I hate revealing plots in my reviews as writing the plot is the author’s job, and I’m not going to do it justice by repeating it on my blog 😉
Suffice to say there is wide scope in the Undead world for Knapp to bring it to a neat close. There is a neat variety of characters and a concentration on the personalities of the apocalypse, as opposed to the undead themselves. Whilst there are zombies in this, and yes they are scary, they are not the centrepiece. If you want some strong character-orientated PA fiction, then this is the series to pick up, without a doubt.
I’ve also had the pleasure of interviewing the author, Eloise J Knapp, and you can catch that over here. Her other book, Pulse, is reviewed at the blog here.