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Moody ramps up the action in Autumn: Disintegration,
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This review is from: Autumn: Disintegration (Paperback)
Over the course of the last six months, I've been reading David Moody's Autumn books: a series of novels set in a postapocalyptic Britain where an apparent global pandemic has wiped out the majority of the populace and the survivors find themselves outnumbered in a world where many of the dead have not only risen but are becomingly increasingly more dangerous...
Autumn: Disintegration is the fourth in the series and I've made no secret of the fact that I've loved these books so far.
The timeline for Disintegration appears to be roughly similar to that found in the previous entry in the series, Purification, with the undead continuing to rot but also to evolve in a progressively more alarming fashion. Moody does not repeat the events of the third novel in the Autumn series here but weveas them seamlessly into that of Disintegration, where he introduces the reader to a new set of characters who, in keeping with the author's particular style, are incredibly ordinary individuals thrust into an extraordinary situation and as such, exposes the more base instincts of the human condition. Moody's characters display fear, selfishness, stupidity and the overwhelming desire for self-preservation.
Although this is the penulitmate entry in the Autumn series, Disintegration, to my mind, is significantly different to its predecessors in that it will sate the gorehounds out there, since it ramps up the action considerably in comparison. Spiked baseball bats, Molotov cocktails and chainsaws are the order of the day in Disintegration; coupled with numerous explosions and Moody's increasingly putrified walking dead which leave the universe he has created covered in an unholy brew of decaying flesh, guts and excretia that gives the whole story a very dirty and realistic feel that is absent from many tomes dealing with similar subject matter. That is not to say that this entry lacks tension; with thousands of walking dead having near omnipresence, there's no questioning the stress and anxiety experienced by the main players in this novel.
Disintegration, for a novel that is the fourth in a series, is unusual in that it succeeds both as a sequel and a stand-alone title. Although knowledge of the first three books will greatly enhance your experience of the book at hand, I would suggest that the uninitiated reader will not feel that they have missed something by picking Disintegration straight away.
As Moody's walking dead continue to evolve as well as decay, his prose matches pace also, with some truly visceral descriptions of the cadaverous state of the recently risen. Nowehere can I recall such vivid narrative, describing not only the flesh falling from bodies but the maggots that infest them and something that is so often omitted from tales of the undead: the disease that they would most likely be carrying also.
Disintegration has been criticised for being formulaic, following the lines laid by the author himself in the previous three books of introducing new characters, disposing of some of them and marching the others forward to the next book. Additionally, it has been suggested that the fourth in the Autumn series does little to advance the overall story. I would submit that both of these attacks are without foundation since, as I have already stated, Disintegration can function as part of the series or as a stand-alone title perfectly well. Moreover, Moody has succeeded in not just driving forward the thread of the series but expanding his Autumn universe in admirable fashion.
You may dismiss this review as that of an avid fan and I admitted at the outset that I've loved Moody's work to date. However, you don't have to simply take my word for it since Guillermo del Toro snapping up the film rights to Moody's Hater, evidences further the strength of the author's prose. Having read Disintegration, I can't wait to get my hands on Autumn: Aftermath on its release next month...