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The Undead Day Eleven: Volume 11 Paperback – 19 Nov 2013
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I was a bit dismayed, if that's the right word, when one of the early chapter headings for this instalment said Day 1. I groaned and thought: "Oh man, he's run out of ideas and needs to go back to the beginning to do something different." I was wrong. It was different but in a brilliant way. Two stories weave around one another, bringing two time lines together in a subtle way that kept me asking: "How is this going to end? When are they going to meet? No, that can't happen...oh wait...ew that's gross...oh I see..." And that included the need to take deep breaths to try and keep as calm as possible.
As with Day 10, the way the story flips between 2 groups is very well written indeed. As a few people have mentioned, the fact that this is based in the UK is a breath of fresh air, albeit one that stinks of dead people.
The introduction of Paco and the German Shepherd gives the reader a refreshing insight into how other pockets of survivors cope with the big end. Paco's character arc is very good, and at times I found myself wanted to slap him in the face and say: "Man up you big wimp!" I found Paco to be a thoroughly distasteful character and yet I couldn't help but root for him.
Showing the events from the perspective of a dog had me moving from relaxed, comfy under the duvet to sat on the edge of the bed, mentally pleading for the dog to keep going and never give up. I love it when a writer is able to draw me into a believable dog perspective.
As The Undead series has evolved Haywood has proved he can learn and mature as a writer. The fast paced action is blended with some genuinely funny moments, banter, jokes and dark humour. This is edge of your seat, grip and don't let go stuff. Dotted amongst the action are deeply moving moments of emotion, highs that left me wanting to punch the air and high-five someone, and lows that touched my heart and brought a lump to my throat.
I've read a lot of zombie/apocalyptic books, from seasoned professionals to amateur Kindle writers. I've caught myself comparing novels in the same genre to The Undead series, and found they're somewhat lacking in many areas. I love my Kindle and haven't bought a physical book for over a year now, but should Haywood find a publisher I'd be more than happy to add The Undead series to my bookshelf.
The only sad thing here is that I now have to wait for Day 12.
The two timelines merge together at Day 11 for one of the most exciting fight scenes out of any book.
Superb humour as always (someone has already mentioned the farting competition) but this Day also introduced the first real coward (not sure if that's the right word as I think he reacts the way most of us would).
Was crying with laughter and some parts and sadness at others - moving on to Day 12 now!!
Even though I put this book down I have still given it 4 stars as I love Howie, Dave and the gang, the chemistry with these characters just shines through the pages. I can not wait for day 12.
Howie's people, now plus canine companion, continue with their struggle for survival against a background of ever evolving scenarios. Just when I thought Haywood must run out of steam he finds a bigger and better boiler! Long may it continue. These books are so very well worth the reading. Come in Number 12, your time is now!
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