Sunday, 24 January 2016

Book Review: Aisle 13 by Zachary Stone

A meteor shower brings to earth an infectious disease which causes many people to die and become flesh eating monsters. Hank, a grocery store meat cutter, finds himself responsible for the protection of his co-workers, customers and friends, and he embarks on a dangerous mission to find a place of safety for them.

My Review:
Hank is at work in the supermarket when the zombie apocalypse comes, trapping him with his boss, several co-workers and a few customers. There is debate over whether to stay and try to secure the building or get out to find their families. There is debate over seeking out and helping nearby survivors who may be infected already or looking after themselves.

I admit that when I saw the series title was 'Don't dare call them zombies', I thought this was going to be one of those unfunny comedy zombie books that would fall flat on it's face. However once I started reading, I was pleased to see that this is a serious and decent zombie book. The people are trapped in a supermarket which has a lot of useable supplies but a lot of windows for zombies to smash through if enough of them gather. You can understand the dilemma of the survivors, who are all anxious about their families.

The characters are all nice enough and at least there are no serious morons to spoil the story. Everyone works together to secure the building and all of them are nice normal people who react to the apocalypse in expected ways, making them seem real. I liked Katie and Ms Suzy the best. Ms Suzy is very cool and I'd have liked to work with her in the supermarket. There is a lot of good stuff in the plot-the diversions that they use when anyone needs to go outside are interesting and inventive, giving the reader some good entertainment. There are plenty of zombies in the book though there is less graphic content than some books I've read recently.

My one issue was that Hank was the one who persuaded a few people to stay at the supermarket in safety while the others made their escape in a bus, then within hours he decided he had to find his mother and persuades the others including the reluctant Katie to join him on the dangerous journey. I found this a bit annoying, that every decision is based around what Hank wants to do at a certain time and not what is best for the group. I'm not sure I'd be greatly keen to leave without a better idea of what I was going to face! The budding romance with Hank and Jennifer fell flat for me. We get told countless times how Hank pursued Jennifer who was never interested in him-but now the apocalypse is here, Hank is suddenly in with a chance. Oh please! It's not that I don't like Jennifer-I just don't find that scenario plausible.

This was a pretty well written novella with some decent entertainment. I've got no immediate plans to continue with the series as there are other series that I liked better, but at some point I might go to the next book to see what the standard is.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

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