Genre: Horror, Zombies
Publication Date: July 22, 2014
William Daniels: Author, coward, murderer, survivor.
The news reports are confusing.
The infection takes everyone by surprise and the infected have one thing on their minds: murder.
William Daniels writes books for children, is a loving husband and a caring father. His dream life is shattered when his wife comes home from work and tells him a homeless man bit her. On top of that, Gemma, William’s fifteen-year old daughter hasn’t come home from school.
He joins forces with his bullying neighbour and together with his freshly infected wife in the back of the car and an unwritten diary in his bag; they head out to search for Gemma.
When street thugs, a junkie and even the police cross his path, William soon learns that the infected are the least of his worries.
One thing is certain- the cost of survival in an infection-ravaged London is high.
One of the things I really enjoyed about The Final Diary was the character Jim. He was very smart, a true survivor, plus it didn't hurt that he had a military background so his combat knowledge was a bonus! I really liked how he just switched on while others were still worried about being seen as looters or murderers despite seeing neighbors literally being ripped apart in front of them. If The Final Diary were ever to become a film, Vinnie Jones could play Jim perfectly. It's who I pictured immediately.
Another thing I enjoyed were the Zombies themselves. Yes they might not be considered true Undead but they still acted exactly like Zombies so that's what I'm calling them. Although I could have done without the Hoodie character assembling them, but I'll get to that in a minute.
Lastly, I really liked the development of the world and the characters within it. P.B. Simister gave voice to a wide cast of characters and yet they never felt as if they were carbon copies of one another or just generic placeholders waiting to be slaughtered. Even if a character had minimal page time they were developed as best they could for the time they had. Also while this is a British Zombie story, the accents were easy to understand.
Now, while I enjoyed The Final Diary, it did have a few issues that I felt worth mentioning.
First off, I really hated the Hoodie character. He reminded me way too much of Eliza from the Zombie Fallout series by Mark Tufo. Completely different characters but their actions within the book felt similar. I'm not gonna lie, some of the resentment I felt from that series started to carry over and be projected onto the Hoodie character in this one by books end as that's how closely related they felt. I really hope he is killed off or has a severely diminished role in the next book.
Secondly, while I liked William as a character, he also grated on the nerves a bit with his tone of voice. He was always so polite and courteous even when people were being dicks straight to his face. Yet when talking to others, especially children, it felt like he was being condescending to them. Without his neighbor I seriously doubt he would've survived very long. He just was too soft in some aspects and had too much of a logical mind in others. Thankfully this seems to resolve itself somewhat by books end although the condescending voice remained.
Lastly, I really wish the book had been a bit shorter.Some spots read like a Sunday drive through the country just with rotting corpses in the street and the occasional shuffler seen in the distance. I didn't feel the danger the characters were in because too much time transpired between action sequences. While the story was very good it did drag in places. Had these scenes been condensed just a touch the overall story in my opinion would've flowed better and my adrenaline level throughout would've went up thus increasing my overall enjoyability a bit more.
Final ThoughtsWith that being said, I'll be rating The Final Diary: The Sickness by P.B. Simister ★★★★.
Despite the overall tone of the book reminding me of a British Zombie Fallout, I still couldn't help myself from really enjoying this one in the end. Sure, William was a bit weak at times for my liking and yes, I did find the ending a bit predictable but few books are perfect so some disappointments weren't all that unexpected.
*Copy reviewed provided by the Author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them.
About the Author
P.B. Simister is a Husband and Father living in (and from) the UK. His stories are typed in front of a (non existent) live studio audience and a sleeping dog.
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