From self-published author Alice B. Sullivan, comes yet another piece of zombie apocalypse fiction. A genre that has been resurrected so many times via so many different media formats, it is rotten to the point of falling apart.
So, it’s hard to get too excited about any zombie apocalypse story. Yet, a good story is a good story, and The Collapse: Book 0 is a very good story. Alice B. Sullivan proving to be a deft writer who knows exactly what is needed to make zombie fiction interesting.
The Collapse: Book 0, unsurprisingly, is the first in a planned series, with the sequel, Yesterday’s Gone: Book 1 in Aftermath, A Zombie Apocalypse Series having been released on October 31st, 2023. We’ll get to that story in the future, but for now, let’s focus on the beginning, because that is what The Collapse: Book 0 is about. The beginning of the end of the world as we know it.
The Collapse: Book 0 tells its tale from dual perspectives, one that is more analytical about the spread of the zombie virus, and one that is character based. It’s two of the most interesting ways zombie fiction can be explored and Alice B. Sullivan nails both. Taking props from the likes of World War Z (still the finest example of written zombie fiction today) with the former, but giving it her own ‘medical’ spin.
With the latter, focusing on one family, the Gallagher family and their increasing terror at the events unfolding around them. Yet, the two separate sides of the story are linked. Karen, the mom of the family, is a scientist with a past and it relates to what is going on in the world right now.
The Collapse: Book 0’s tale of zombie devastation is surprisingly deep because of its focus on characters. It’s possible to put yourself in the shoes of Gallagher family, burying your head in the sand to some extent, and praying that the reports on the news stay far away. Not because they don’t care, but because of familial love. They want to protect those closest to them. It’s relatable stuff, as is the despair felt as reality comes crashing down upon them.
Choosing to make her virus a case of poor ethics and a failed attempt to cure the uncurable, Alice B. Sullivan also makes the horror of her story more believable. Just think about the COVID pandemic, how it spread so quickly, and suddenly things don’t seem so far-fetched.
Going into detail, following characters as they slowly get ill, and seeing their suffering, results in some of the best parts of the entire story. There is simply no question that, should such an event as described in this book ever actually happen, we’re all well and truly doomed. The Collapse: Book 0 makes it all feel so real.
There can be no higher praise than that. Alice B. Sullivan has written a compelling story that feels real. Both terrifying and heart wrenching in equal measures. We can’t wait to read what comes next.
The Collapse: Book 0 in AFTERMATH, A Zombie Apocalypse Series (Alice B. Sullivan)
The Final Score - 8/10