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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Just read this in the space of 24 hours - it's not a very long novel, only just over long novella length, I think, or that might be just because I was enjoying it so much that I read it quickly; maybe it seemed shorter than it was.

This is the journal of Bill Wright, the man who was unlucky enough to break his leg just as the trouble started. The first half of the book is taken up with his survival, hope and growing despair as he recuperates in his flat, the second half with his escape and attempt to find a place in which he can be safe and live some sort of life again. Alongside all the day to day worries, though, he uncovers to the reader (and to himself) the real truth behind the outbreak and the 'evacuations'... suffice to say I downloaded the next straight away and will start reading it as soon as I have posted this review!

I'm fascinated by tales about survival against all odds, and think Frank Tayell has done a marvellous job of this. It's a lot more intelligent and well written than many books in this genre that I've started and abandoned, and the pace of the first part is spot on. I found the intricate details of Bill's ideas for day to day survival completely engrossing, and a round of applause for not just copying half the scenarios from The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later or Survivors; this actually paints a slightly different picture of such a disaster, and not one in which the protagonist keeps coming across groups of people who just happen to have all the skills necessary to survive in the new world, either. Loved the conspiracy orientated bits, and I can't wait to read the truth about Lenham Hill.....

I'd definitely recommend this to any fans of this genre - and it's set in England, too!
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on 17 November 2013
I sleep badly and have so many books on my kindle to choose from but saw this and it sounded okay. It was more than okay it was brilliant. Read it from cover to cover -as you can on a Kindle - and was so sorry to get to the end. I sympathised, wept, laughed (there were some frustratingly funny moments,) cried, shouted, got angry and all at the poor guy in the book. My husband was not amused as I woke him more than once shouting or giggling. Have just seen that the 2nd part is due in December. Whoopee. Was never into "zombies" but this is so much more. It is how someone would feel, left completely alone, in an upstairs flat and no one to care, incapacitated, no food, water, heat etc with the zombies thrown in for good measure. Brilliant book.Just could not put it down.Really cannot fault it at all. I read all types of books, from Stephen King, to Bernard Cornwell but this book made my week.Fabulous. Loved it.
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on 18 August 2014
Using a very different style when writing a zombie book was enough to make me buy it and I'm glad I did. The general feeling of loneliness and isolation is at times unnerving. The fact that Bill, virtually the only human character throughout, has a broken leg and no special skills makes this even more interesting. Too many zombie books just go down the same route of having people like soldiers being the heroes of the hour. What about everyone else? Surely some normal, non-super-human people would manage to survive in the unlikey event of a zombie apocalypse.

Anyway, Bill is a pretty normal guy waiting for someone to come and help him, eventually deciding that he has no choice but to help himself. Struggling to find the basic needs such as food and drinkable water he sets out on a slow adventure through London. There are not buckets of blood to be found in this story but there are moments of excitement with occasional zombie encounters. The greatness of this book comes from the fact that Bill is completely alone, injured, scared, starving and desperate. Even though it's a zombie book the scenario made it seem a bit more realistic and I found myself wondering, "what would I do?". I will definitley read the further books in the series.
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on 10 December 2013
I love apocalyptic fiction and zombies, but there is a ton of very poor apocalyptic fiction out there at the moment and a large proportion of the rubbish is about zombies.

Finally we have an author that writes a more 'realistic' zombie epidemic story that deals with the real questions for survival, not how to kill them faster or where to find more ammo, but the mundane things that keeps us alive.

The main character spends most of his time trying to hide from the zombies, trying to figure out how they can detect him and where he can find food and water to keep himself alive at the same time. There is no convenient warehouse full of food or a retired marksman with an array of guns at his disposal, just a guy stuck and trying to survive day by day.

I'm sure I enjoyed the book more as it is set in London and no gung ho style of action is present. You can relate to the daily terror of the main character, especially when he is forced to confront the zombies and how he reacts. The struggle for his daily survival is the main focus and is well written.

This is a breath of fresh air to the zombie genre and I'm looking forward to the next book in what I hope will be a concise series.
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on 22 May 2016
I do love reading a good zombie novel and I enjoyed this one. It was told from a rather different perspective. Bill is a man with a broken leg living on the top floor of a house in London when the outbreak begins. He is also a man with government officials as friends and he is one of the people who have helped to lay down the plans for the evacuation of London.

As the days go by, Bill's diary entries move from being the mundane usual daily tasks to considering how he might survive to actually going out. For me the beginning of the book was a little slow because it was quite repetitive however, it did keep my attention. I wanted to find out how he got out of that situation. It was an interesting character development plot and I saw Bill move from being the person who is afraid to turn on a light in his home to fighting them off in the middle of the street.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 January 2016
I enjoyed this book a lot. It starts off a little slowly, with the rather mundane tasks of having to survive the zombie apocalypse with a broken leg (as if it wasn't hard enough already!) but there's already the hint of intrigue as we discover the main character was involved in politics, and has a lot of behind the scenes information. Unfortunately he's been left behind to fend for himself, and we follow his journey through his personal journal as he tries to make his way out of an over-run London and to discover what went wrong with the evacuation plan - a plan that he himself designed, but never got to see in full. It is a fairly short and easy read, and ideal for fans of zombies, survival or the apocalypse, with just enough political / conspiracy to give it a different edge to the usual.

This was a promotional free purchase, but I have already bought book 2 and look forward to reading it.
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on 12 August 2016
I had never heard of the book or the author but it was recommended to me by a bookhub so I downloaded it without looking at it too closely. Unfortunately, I read the description before I started it and was immediately put off by the subject matter. Now, don't get me wrong, I love an episode of The Walking Dead and I liked Brad Pitt in World War Z well enough (what's not to like??), but as a general rule zombies just aren't my thing. However, I'd downloaded so I started reading the first page - to be honest, just to see how silly it got! Well, an hour later I was still reading and have been reading it every spare minute I've had for the last couple of days.

It's easy reading and I've got through the book really quickly. It's grim (naturally enough for this genre) but there is something quietly likeable about the lead character that means you want to find out what happens to him. He's got no super powers, he's not some unfeasibly brave weapons specialist with military training, he's not even a decent handyman! He's pretty ordinary actually and that's the "unique selling point" here. It's written from the point of view of an ordinary bloke in an extraordinary set of circumstances. You end up willing him to be able to adapt to his new world and survive. Now maybe all zombie books are made this way - as I said, it's not usually my thing so I'm no expert but it certainly worked for me.

I enjoyed the book, I've download the next one in the series and I just might be a zombies geek afterall - who knew?
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on 5 December 2014
Zombies has for a long time been a genre I've enjoyed and been interested in, however since the walking dead graced our tv screens, i have been interested in the survival aspect of it. Reading this book has been very interesting and easy to read. It certainly conjures up ideas and view points that otherwise I wouldn't have thought of. I liked this book for the questions it came up with; who not to trust, can you survive alone and how one person who is inhibited can survive. More importantly, it establishes one initial vital answer.... Stay at home during the evacuation, no matter how good it sounds, and appear as if you are not there at all.

As a story value, I enjoyed it very much. I liked the diary format which made the zombie apocalypse seem as if had already happened. It allowed the reader a fictional role of a survivor, and in a way, part of the story whom may have been gifted or found the diary. It brought out problems that a survivor would come across and an ending which allowed for continuation in other diaries/novels. However, I did find the story quite a slow paced one and didn't have me wanting to 'read just one more page' everytime I put it down to do something else. But, it did make me want to read the rest in this series and more from Frank Tayell. Which is why I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
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on 9 August 2016
Right, let's start by saying I don't "do" zombies. I bought this book as I thought it was a "dystopian" novel, and I quite like some of those, occasionally. Well, I am very glad I made this mistake, as this is a really good, readable book. In fact, to be honest, it is almost too real. At one point I came to a fairly frightening bit, and it was just before I was due to go to bed, so I had to close the book, and find something easier. I can't actually pay a higher compliment to the writer, as normally when I read I don't get "infected" to such an extent.
I have now bought volume 0.5 (a prequel) and volume 2, so don't expect to hear from me for a while, as I shall be busy reading.
By the way, you will notice I haven't put any details of the story - I thought enough other people had done so.
Just read it.
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on 20 May 2015
I know there is alot of zombie horror books but this is brilliant.
I'm not a big reader, i find it hard to actually read a book all the way through without getting distracted and forgetting about it. However this is perfect if your more of a casual reader, setting it out as a journal makes it easy to read but also more enjoyable and tense.
I personally love this book, i read it all in one day because i couldn't put it, i had to know what happened on the next day, even after trying i kept having to go back because my mind had to know. It kept my attention and my nerve on edge when reading it actually, halfway through a section and a doorknock made me jump and nearly drop the bloody book. It's real, well real as it can be. Not just another hero with a million guns and conventionally placed food and water, no it's a real survival story (more or less).
You can see where some it mirrors existing stories, but only subtle parts here and there. I did find a part where it wasn't coherent, but i can overlook these things as i enjoyed it so much. I know some people have said it's predictable, but in a good way, as you read your start to understand and guess how things happened but you feel compelled to read on just to reassure yourself!
I've already ordered the next two in the series, i'd definitely recommend if your a zombie horror fan and especially if you more of a casual reader.
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