Short Stories are an under-appreciated genre but with the advent of ebooks it is allowing for authors to share single stories instead of being dependent on acceptance to anthologies. It is also a great way to get a taste of the flavor of an author. This definitely happened to me today and boy was I in for a surprise!
The author, Mira Grant had me first at Comic-Con and second at Browncoats**. The fact it as a zombie story had me clicking buy before you could moan “braaaaaaaaainnnnsss“. I cannot think of a more perfect setting for the zombie outbreak. Just who are the real risen and who are in makeup? I giggled purely with the thought of how I would deal with that “little” problem. It is one of those book discoveries you end up doing “facepalm” after recovering from your “OMG” face and then asking yourself how in the world you missed it! The perfect Weekly Shorts entry at $2.99, sitting at 120 pages an, what I believe to be the perfect length for a novella (approx 30K).
A viral-based zombie story (Kellis-Amberlee), is told in the form of flash-backs and memories being compiled by Journalist Mahir Gowda 30 years after the “Rising”. She has the task of obtaining an interview with a the only known survivor of the 2014 Comic-Con “event”, from a very reluctant CPT Lorelei Tutt USCG. Due to the wi-fi being turned back on the people who ended up trapped inside the San Diego Convention Center, the stories of the hero’s, the fallen and the general chaos were uploaded and preserved in digital format. This novella reads as a window to the past, or at least the column of blood and hunger.. despair and sacrifice making up this tale. It tells the stories of the first hero’s of the zombie apocalypse.
Ms. Grant introduced and developed definitive characters we immediately fall in love with. The challenge with the novella is to do this in a very focused presentation. It is a challenge that many film writers have when trying to take a novel and make it into a 2 hour film. What will need to be cut, or at least in this instance, what details can be left out or glossed over but still have a new reader to the series, like me, “get” the story and be sucked in. There were references and “whispers” to the news that was all over the wire and blogosphere about a zombie outbreak, and that was all I needed to know this was part of a bigger plot.
Referencing so many sci-fi pop-culture tales, as well as one made up one (which honestly I wish would be made into a real TV Show) it made the fan-girl in me giggle and smile, even though I knew having Browncoats in the title, it was bound to be tragic in the end, especially when we know that Lorelei was the only known survivor. I cannot shout loud enough about this novella. It was out of this world fantastic, festive and phenomenally fun!
I would recommend this for not only those fans of zombie reads, but of anyone who likes a tragic adventure to boot! Grab a hold of a cricket bat, 2×4 or weapon of choice and dive in! I am giving this a bio-hazard rating of ? ? ? ? ? – FULL CONTAINMENT of excitement needed!