Author: David Moody
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (US Imprint)
Page count: 388pp
Release date: 15th March 2012 (US)/15th Nov 2012 (UK)
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
The fifth and final novel in the series, Autumn Aftermath is currently available in the US and is available on amazon.com until its UK release 15th Nov 2012.
The novel, which starts from the point of view of Jessica Lindt, one of the zombies, in a few chapters, brings us up to speed to the current winter setting. Then we meet Alan Jackson, a survivor who wants to be on his own, that is until he meets a number of survivors in what appears to be a safe place; Cheetham Castle. Finding the other survivors holed up in the keep,Jacksondecides to stay awhile.
Next we encounter Driver from Autumn Disintegration. Faking illness, Driver escaped the confines of the hotel in Bromwell just as things were getting bad. Driver finds himself at the castle and the survivors at the castle decide to rescue the group at the hotel. This then brings two of the groups together in relative safety at the castle.
Now that the bodies are becoming more harmless and pressure is easing off the survivors, they have time to consider all that they have lost, and time to decide if they really want to life in the aftermath. Jas is becoming more emotional and starting to behave aggressively as he realises everything he has lost.
As the novel progresses we are reunited with Michael and Emma, last seen in Purification, and the settlement of survivors on the Isle of Cormansey. Circumstance brings Michael and a couple of survivors to the mainland and an encounter with Jas and Jackson, who are fighting for control of the castle.
As the series reaches its conclusion, we learn more about the nature of the dead and are in for more surprises. The dead soon become something to pity, as Michael watches hundreds of the bodies crammed into buses and trains, pawing to get out of their various traps like a pastiche of rush hour passengers.
Poignant and moving, Aftermath is a brilliant end to a series that has lived and breathed with us for ten long years. This novel feels like the end of an era; just as it should.