Book Review: “The End of the World As We Knew It

I rarely touch a book with your typical horror monsters in it … vampires, werewolves, zombies? Unless it’s approaching things from a completely unique angle, I’m just not that interested.

(And yes, I gave up on the Walking Dead somewhere in the middle of Season Three … Sorry, folks. I’m one of THOSE guys).

I find most of these books turn into what I’d consider “fan-fiction,” recapitulating all of the hours of reading (or watching) other <insert monster here> movies or books that the author has taken in. It’s nice that you like zombies, it really is, but if you want me to buy your book, come up with your own creation. Or give me a zombie story I haven’t seen before.

With “The End of the World As We Knew It,” author Nick Cole attempts to bring us that story.

nick coleDid it work? Sort of. I absolutely loved the first third of this novel. The writing, the pacing, the characterizations revealed through imperfect recordings. It was a blast. Then things sort of got bogged down into more familiar territory, but without any real risk or inherent danger. One of the problems with using journal entries as a means of telling a story is that the audience knows that, despite whatever circumstance our “hero” may find themselves in, they’ll survive. Else, how could they be “telling” us the story?

And that’s sort of where the book headed, with telling rather than showing. A lot of summaries of battles and dangers overcome that would have been much more interesting if we had lived through them rather than hearing of them second hand.

(As a side note, I often wonder how anyone would ever write in such detail conversations or the intricacies of events that took place in a journal. Ain’t nobody got time for that!)

Despite the way in which the story was told, what I enjoyed the most was the humanity this novel revealed. This is where Cole’s writing thrives and what elevates this story from what might be considered your average zombie tale.

For you zombie horde fanatics, this is one not to miss. For the rest of you? You’ll get enough out of this to make it an enjoyable journey. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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