Author: David Moody
Publisher: Orion Books
Price: £12.99 (Hardback)
Page count: 261pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
If you read my previous reviews of Autumn & Autumn: The City, the re-release of Moody’s self published zombie novels you will be aware that I heaped high praise on the first two books of the Autumn series. I didn’t think these books could get any better. Boy, was I ever wrong!
Autumn: Purification carries on from the first and second Autumn novels, as (SPOILER ALERT) Michael, Emma and a group of survivors escape the city and find themselves hidden in a military bunker with what’s left of the military. There are 37 of these survivors, still infected but still immune, who are kept in quarantine in the bunker. That is, until all hell breaks loose and they decide to make a break for it, because above the underground bunker, thousands upon thousands of the dead are drawn to the site.
You don’t need to have read the first two books, though you would have lost some great literature in not reading them. In just three pages Moody succinctly summarises the events of the first two books in an objective and skilful way, reducing the content to its necessary elements in order for the reader to understand the starting point of Purification. The reader is informed with being distracted from the action to follow. Once exposition is done, then bam! You’re in the story and each of the characters left alive begin to blossom as they fight for survival and look for somewhere to call home in this post-apocalyptic world.
Moody’s language and description are efficient and economical, yet emotive. Emma’s feelings of fear, loneliness and confusion are easily summarised in one beautiful line as Moody tells us, “Everything was cold, apart from his touch”. The man in question being Michael, the man she has only known for the eight weeks since disaster has struck.
Once the rag tag group have fled the bunker, they hide out overnight in a furniture store, seemingly without hope. But hope soon arrives in the shape of helicopter Richard who lands in the car park and shares with them the hope of a new safe haven, the home they have been desperately looking for. But is it really a safe haven? I won’t spoil that much for you, but the beauty of this book is that you want them to survive and you want them to have hope. For the first novel at least, you have been journeying with a number of these characters for three books now, whilst with others it may only be two or one book, but such is the skill of Moody’s writing, that you want the characters you believe in to have a future.
This novel, the best of them so far, is a testament to just what people will do to survive in a decaying world. I don’t know how he does it, but the tension throughout is palpable, the fear of what could be around the corner claustrophobic and undeniably real; and the greatest thing to fear about this book? The dead are evolving again. Whilst their bodies decay, they are becoming self aware and their minds are evolving. Truly scary in so many ways. Well done Mr. Moody.
If you want to know more about David Moody’s latest projects and the sequel Autumn: Disintegration, take a look at his website for free fiction and other offers which can be found at Last of the Living.