This is a really, really great little Novella. As you can see from any of my previous reviews of Novellas I have a love/hate relationship with most of them. Sometimes I love them and sometimes I see them as nothing but a waste of space and good reading time. Also, authors should not be allowed to charge their trusting fans money for a book that is under a hundred pages long. Surely that’s a law just waiting to be written.
However this particular Novella gets the thumbs up from me. The Last Stand of the Californian Browncoats is long enough that I didn’t mind paying for it and good enough that I didn’t mind reading it. As anyone who’s read any of Grant’s Newsflesh series will know, she has set her post-apocalyptic world in 2044, thirty years after the Zombie Rising. This novella, however, is set right smack in the middle of the Rising in 2014.
It was great to read a story from Grant that dealt with the immediate effects of a zombie apocalypse in the making. I knew she wouldn’t let us down in the excitement stakes and boy was I right. The story is told by Mahir who is the only character we meet in this book that we know from the Newsflesh Series. He is basically writing an article on the Rising and the immediate effects on people who lived at that time. He has pieced together an account of the events within the San Diego Comic Convention center during the Rising from various sources.
It was really great to see how people reacted to the initial zombie attacks and the chaos and fear that spread throughout the center. Basically hundreds, if not thousands, of people died within the convention center as the US Government, not knowing what they were dealing with decided the best route was to seal everyone inside and leave them to their fate.
This is where we meet the Californian Browncoats, amongst others, who are part of the surviving, uninfected people trapped within the center. As they slowly begin to realise what is happening and come to the realisation that they are probably never getting out we see who becomes heroes and who crumbles under the extreme circumstances.
The only flaw within this story, in my opinion, was how quickly everyone seemed to accept that what they were witnessing was truly happening. I mean I do realise that Comic Con is probably one of the few places on earth that most people there would be at least slightly excited if not overjoyed at the prospect of a zombie apocalypse but still… Although I suppose some crazy, wild-eyed man chewing on your friend’s arm would be enough to convince almost anyone.
- Feed by Mira Grant (Newsflesh Trilogy #1) (arlasworld.wordpress.com)
- Countdown by Mira Grant (Newsflesh Series #0.5) (arlasworld.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: “Countdown” by Mira Grant (20four12.wordpress.com)