Tuesday 19 April 2016

'Autumn: The City' (Autumn #2) by David Moody

*This review will contain spoilers!* 

When I finished 'Autumn', the first book in David Moody's series of the same name, I was excited to continue onwards. I loved Michael and Emma, the survivors that we were following, and I was looking forward to seeing what happened to them over the course of the series.
This meant I was a little bit dismayed when I started 'Autumn: The City' and discovered that we were following a whole host of new characters. Starting in much the same way as the first book, we join our new characters on the day that the world ends and we follow them as they find other survivors and eventually team together in a large group.
This novel is split into two parts, and I did feel as though Part One dragged ridiculously slowly. Because we'd already experienced the first two weeks of the end of the world, it didn't seem worth reliving it - a lot of it felt like repetition of the first book (setting fires to contact other survivors, working out how to get supplies etc.). I understand that we needed more characters (following Michael and Emma again would have been limiting) but it would have been nice if we'd joined them when they were all already together, rather than meeting them all individually to start with. It was probably to make you feel more connected to the characters, but because there were so many of them I didn't feel emotionally attached anyway: I would have preferred to jump straight into the action.
However, Part Two is much more interesting. Cooper, a soldier who has been sheltering in an underground bunker nearby, and one of his fellow comrades get separated from their team on a reconnaissance mission. They've all been forced to wear large protective suits and breathing apparatus, as the virus is still in the air - however, Cooper's friend is frustrated and removes his mask, causing him to drop down instantly dead. When Cooper damages his suit he realises he is immune to the virus and realises he never needs to go back to the bunker, but when he finds himself with the larger group of survivors they convince him to take them there: it's the safest place any of them can imagine. The dead bodies have been growing increasingly more violent, attacking each other mercilessly, so they have to work out how to get out of the city without getting torn apart by angry corpses.
In Part Two we also rejoin Michael and Emma, who are living in a mobile home in the countryside. Michael heard Cooper's convoy leaving the army bunker, so he's trying to track down the entrance to their shelter - he's certain that the army will be able to help them, even if Emma isn't convinced.
I loved the gradual intensifying of the zombies actions and the fact that they weren't the stereotypical movie monsters you encounter, but more than that I really appreciated Bernard - one of the survivors at the university - thinking to himself that the zombies 'apparently had no desire to eat or drink or rest, and there was no flesh-eating, like in the horror films'. One of my complaints about the first installment was that no one seemed to have ever even considered the concept of zombies before, so I was glad that was dealt with.
By the end of the book, all of our survivors are grouped together in the same place, managing to gain entry into the army bunker as they'd hoped. I'm much more hopeful about the third installment, because now we've got a large group of survivors we won't need to relive the first couple of weeks again, and the introduction of the army presence will lead to an interesting change in dynamics. 
This second installment definitely isn't as good as the first, but the set up for book three is definitely promising. 

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