Slow Burn: Zero Day by Bobby Adair – 5 stars
A new flu strain has been spreading across Africa, Europe, and Asia. Disturbing news footage is flooding the cable news channels. People are worried. People are frightened. But Zed Zane is oblivious.
Zed needs to borrow rent money from his parents. He gets up Sunday morning, drinks enough tequila to stifle his pride and heads to his mom’s house for a lunch of begging, again.
But something is wrong. There’s blood in the foyer. His mother’s corpse is on the living room floor. Zed’s stepdad, Dan is wild with crazy-eyed violence and attacks Zed when he comes into the house. They struggle into the kitchen. Dan’s yellow teeth tear at Zed’s arm but Zed grabs a knife and stabs Dan, thirty-seven times, or so the police later say.
With infection burning in his blood, Zed is arrested for murder but the world is falling apart and he soon finds himself back on the street, fighting for his life among the infected who would kill him and the normal people, who fear him.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s a zombie tale for those of us who don’t want or need to see a little girl in blood-smeared overalls with vacant eyes advancing on the hero, forcing him to shoot her in the head and agonize about it afterwards. This book actually reminded me a lot of the Left 4 Dead and Zombie Driver games in some sections, which is a compliment, because it managed to keep the tone light despite the subject matter.
The hero, Zed, is a decent guy with no real zombie apocalypse survival skills, but a heap of sense and a delightful hit of idiocy. He’s the kind of idiot who does the right thing because it’s the right thing and doesn’t necessarily think through the consequences or see the trap in it. When he does see the trap beforehand, he can’t come up with an alternative and plunges headlong into it. This is my kind of dumbass.
I found the writing amusing and quick, and Zed has a good voice. As there always are, I found a few bits that didn’t gel quite right, but the rest of it was so entertaining, I didn’t care. I foresee that his sidekicks, Murphy and Jerome, will be an endless source of amusement for the rest of the series and look forward to watching Slow Burn unfold.
The only people I don’t expect to like this book are those who can’t abide by swearing, or have issues with zombies overall. Go into it knowing it’s not the most serious book out there, and you should have a blast. It’s a great, quick, summer beach read.