Day by Day Armageddon is a zombie action-horror thriller written in diary format by a soldier of the U.S. military. From an subdued start we learn of an outbreak of what is considered to be avian flu in China, the status of this virus is upgraded as the entries proceed and the more severe nature of events begins to unravel.
The dialogue varies from the stilted to occasionally fresh, and conveys a sense of its author’s, at times limited, personal awareness of what’s going on in the outside world. An air of mystery surrounding the outbreak and its implications for society is maintained just enough to drive the reader on toward the end.
The books feels authentic in regards to the protagonist’s actions, outlook on life and perceptions on his environment. No doubt the author’s own military background helped convey such things, with occasional acronyms adding to the book’s enjoyment, rather than bogging it down as overuse of these things can occasionally do in such themed literature.
The common sense approach to things as diverse as zombie-proofing a house to silent dispatch of a group of zombies all added to this kick-ass theme underlying the novel. In maintaining that feel throughout the novel, he has succeeded, but in doing so much of the book felt samey.
Early on the character joins up with a fellow neighbour who has been caught up in the outbreak, and the pair embark on a journey that’s as much of discovery of what’s going on as much as it is one of survival. As the days tick on and the challenges mount up the characters are well equipped to meet the struggles which they face not just from the zombie hordes, but associated psychological ruminations from what’s going on for them. There’s the usual fare to be expected from such a book dealing with zombies, and one that’s written in good old epistolary format. However, for someone who doesn’t intake too much of the zombie sub-genre, either in book or film form, it still felt heavily clichéd at times.
Make no mistakes, this isn’t a hand-holding, flowery-prose laden description of the undead taking over the world. It’s more a kick-ass and gung-ho survivalist’s tale of zombie apocalypse, and as such this may affect your enjoyment of such a novel. Whilst there is action and intermittent excitement, I did find the tone of the text a bit too nonchalant and, well, boring at times. That said, there’re folks out there who keenly gobble up zombie-based prose. For those people, add two to the score below and give it a try.
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