09 June 2012

Review: Zombie Night in Canada by Jamie Friesen

Zombie Night in Canada: First Period by Jamie Friesen

Published: 29 February 2012

Pages: 334 (kindle)

Genre/s: Zombie

Source: Author for review

Check It Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK

More Info: Jamie Friesen's website

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Tokyo. Sydney. Beijing. Cairo. Paris. Rome. New York. Los Angeles. One by one, the world’s great cities fell to the zombie plague. What chance does a small, non-descript city in Canada like Edmonton have?

The world as we know it is finished. Civilization has collapsed and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Billions of people are dead, victims of a horrific plague.

Bi-weekly paychecks, Tim Horton’s double doubles, men’s league hockey and cheap winter vacations to Cancun. That was the life Xander Barnes had known for years until a pandemic swept the globe. Efforts to slow its spread or develop quarantine zones, in many cases were too little, too late.

Nowadays, life consisted of avoiding the plague victims, ghouls who had an insatiable appetite for human flesh and finding enough food to survive day to day. How long can one ordinary man survive in a world gone mad? 

My Thoughts

Zombie Night in Canada is one of those zombie reads that captures everything I love about this genre. The main characters are normal people thrown into a terrifying, overwhelming situation and proceed to make the best of a bad lot, all the while dodging, ducking and diving around the increasing zombie threat.

Familiar pop-culture references (for example zombie movies, blogs and Twitter) make the story feel more realistic - after all, if rumours of a zombie virus surfaced, chances are you are going to read about it on Twitter before you see the nightly news! There is a focus on military tactics, and the available firearms and artillery is examined closely, but despite this being something I don't enjoy in zombie books, it was pretty unobtrusive on my reading experience.

Personally I found there were three things that I love in zombie books that were done exceedingly well:

- Although the book is set in Canada, this is not the sole focus - the fates of other countries worldwide are also expanded upon (I loved the idea of how the Netherlands isolated themselves from the threat). This gives a real feeling of 'global apocalypse' rather than the localisation of the vast majority of zombie books.

- There are short 'flashes' of what happens to people in different situations - police, criminals, average people - that are incredibly believable and deeply shocking.

- The unique ideas explored in the last 10% of the book - although I have read about this in other zombie books, this is by far the best implementation of the idea I have ever read.

The one and only complaint that I have is that some of the characters were a little flat - although they are distinguishable from each other, they lack a unique quality that made me really care about them, but they were certainly realistic and the dialogue was never stilted or fake.

For a self-published book, Zombie Night in Canada is extremely well written and edited - every part of the story is riveting and necessary.

Recommended For

Any zombie book lover, and also anyone who enjoys a thrilling, well-rounded story that will keep you flipping the pages, even when you think you can't possibly take one more gut-wrenching scene.

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