One day 99% of the world just died…choking to death on their own blood. An airborne virus, no-one could see it & no-one could fight it. In an instant humanity was almost wiped out completely, those that weren’t affected hid away frightened & lost.
Then the dead got back up…
At first they wandered lost, not seeing & not knowing oblivious to those that had survived the virus but soon they began to change.
The first 2 books dealt with the aftermath of the initial outbreak as 2 groups of survivors struggled to carry on. As readers we witnessed the moment the virus hit, the moment the dead got back & the moment when things began to change.
When we left off the survivors of the last 2 books had managed to make their way into an underground army base that was still manned. The soldiers inside were still part of an authority system but were careful to not breach their own quarantine dare they been infected by the disease outside.
The survivors were safe inside but outside the dead amassed in their thousands attracted by the noise & desperate to get to the life inside.
Purification begins down in the base as we see what survival means…the survivors are isolated inside the main hanger from the soldiers who are careful to avoid any potential infections. It’s hardly far from an ideal situation but the survivors are away from the dead & that is enough right now.
Naturally problems start to occur as the increasing mass of dead above start to block air vents that supply the base. The soldiers are forced to act & go out to clear the vents. It’s dangerous but they manage & this gives the upper brass the idea of actively going on the offensive. Surely with a soldiers discipline & enough ammo they could just destroy all the bodies in their path?
The survivors don’t think so either so as soon as the plan is put into action they decide to leave but not before suffering some causalities. The discipline fails, the plan fails & the base is lost. The survivors are on the move again but not before saving a few soldiers (although they’re stuck inside their suits).
Relationships are strained to new levels as the convoy of vehicles desperately look for somewhere to rest. The zombies are relentless & stopping for any length of time results in more & more coming attracted by the noise.
The group manage to find somewhere to lay low for a while but it doesn’t take long for the dead to start arriving. Additional problems from the soldiers who have survived forces actions that will leave you unsettled & hope begins to fade until a helicopter arrives.
It seems as though the actions of our survivors at the base haven’t gone un-noticed & there might actually be a place of safety. An island small enough & isolated enough to call home.
Now if they can just get there before the following dead catch them up…
Purification continues nicely on from the last book & doesn’t get bogged down by having the group spend too long inside the army base. At this stage the characters & we as readers have become accustomed to the worst case scenario happening so it is no surprise when the soldiers plan fails.
This doesn’t make it any less impactful especially as you have just a moment when you think that just maybe it will work out ok.
One of the more interesting developments that occur in this book is the soldiers that escape with the group. It was fascinating to see them cut form authority but forced to stay within the confines of their protective suit. Eventually this takes its toll & it is impossible to not have sympathy for their plight.
Untimely the plan to get to the island is good if a little slow to get going. The fence that surrounds the airfield will only hold for so long & as the zombies develop a new level of thinking it’s not long before it comes down.
This event leads us to the end of the book as we lose several important characters & see that survival means more to some than others, that in the end it’s the dead’s world now & those that have survived will have to make do hiding away even if it is on a small remote island.
These characters plights matter now… sure there are plenty that are as unmemorable as always but there are more that you want to see survive not least of all Mike & Emma who have been hanging on since the first book.
Autumn - Purification (David Moody)
The Final Score - 8/10
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