Review by Kelly:
I just finished an awesome zombie apocalypse book titled, Day by Day Armageddon, Origin to Exile, by J.L. Bourne. There are a lot of authors and movie makers out there who have done the zombie take over story, but I like this one because the story is told in the form of diary entries made by a single fellow named Mike. Mike is a U.S. Air Force pilot, and when we first meet him he is visiting his parents in Alabama, (or Arkansas, I can’t remember which). As he is leaving to return home, (Texas), there is an odd story on the news about a strange viral outbreak in China.
By the time Mike arrives home the news about the deadly virus is much worse, it is highly contagious, in fact 100%, nothing seems to have any effect on slowing it down, people are beginning to panic. Mike is concerned, but he has a storage area full of canned goods and lots of bottled water, plus he has rigged up some solar panels and batteries in his home that will allow him to maintain electricity for a while.
When the news that an infected US citizen has been brought from China to the CDC in Atlanta breaks, and then shortly after the CDC goes quiet, even Mike begins to worry. And we get to hear about every decision he makes, to stay or flee, to team up with other survivors or go solo, through the pages of his diary you get the feeling that you are along for the trip. Mike explains what supplies he thinks are worth risks, and what can be left. You hear him voice his worry about the state of the Federal Government, and the armed forces, much as one imagines they might do in a similar situation. Is anyone in charge? Will help come? Mike agonizes over every choice he makes because any one of them could cost him his life.
It is the day-by-day aspect of this book that I liked best. The idea that we are riding along on this journey with Mike, because we know how each of his decisions was made, is compelling. I mean we all know we will need weapons, but is bigger better, or does the weight of carrying a bigger gun around, and thus the fatigue that brings, make one want something smaller & lighter?
We all know we will need food and that canned food lasts longer but it is also heavier and takes up lots of space in a backpack. When your whole world is in that backpack the supplies that fill it need to be critically assessed.
But don’t get the idea that that is all this book is. Mike is horrified and scared to death over and over, and he is just as forthcoming in those descriptions as in all others. He tells us about the rotting corpses, the dogs gone feral, and worst of all the living turning on each other. The living against the living was so realistic and believable, but maybe I’m just cynical!
The only downside to this book is that it wasn’t long enough for me! It is 513 pages, but I could have carried on with Mike for much much longer.
Request Day By Day Armageddon, Origin to Exile from the Bangor Public Library