Wednesday, 18 April 2012
I reviewed Wayne Simmons’ previous zombie novel Flu here, and now it is the turn of the sequel.
Well, it’s kind of a sequel. The first section of the book is actually set before the events in the previous novel, and they go a long way towards explaining the origins of the flu virus that’s currently sweeping across the world. This whole section is a tight and tautly written one, with a real sense of claustrophobia in places although I did feel a bit cheated at the end of it.
The rest of the book though, sees the reader in more familiar territory. Simmons does a clever thing in not making this a straight sequel. He spends time introducing us to some new characters, and even has them encounter scenes from the previous book. This is a nice idea, as it gives returning readers something to feel good about while not alienating new readers who have not read the previous volume.
I’m actually finding it difficult to talk about the novel too much, for fear of spoilering anything. I will say that we eventually have some questions that were posed towards the end of the first book answered, but are left with different ones at the climax of this one. We meet some familiar faces from Flu as they intersect on their journey of survival with the new characters we have met.
As with his previous novels, Simmons shows here his admirable lack of sentimentality and his willingness to kill off characters at the drop of a hat.
I suspect that there will be at least one more volume in this series. Certainly Simmons has left enough unanswered questions and seems to be enjoying exploring them enough to have him pop back to zombie ravaged Northern Ireland (not the actual one, the one in this book) hopefully sooner rather than later.
Fever is published by Snowbooks.