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Author Topic: The Kill Crew by Joseph D'Lacey  (Read 1452 times)
Geoff_N
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« on: September 17, 2009, 02:00:53 PM »

The Kill Crew by Joseph D’Lacey
Reviewed by Geoff Nelder
Published August 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1600761416

This novella delves into the zombie genre in an unexpected way. It is rare to find literary prose exploring how survivors might really think and feel. Nor do we find in other works detailed thoughts an incipient victim might have. All this, beautifully told in an unexpected page-turning character-driven story.

When an event similar to a solar flare Carrington Event catastrophe happens, most of the population – Commuters, because they move at night towards the walled-in survivors – become dangerously deranged. A neat touch is that the afflicted seem to be mainly white-collar, middle-class people, though I suppose that would have included me. Survivors, with no real understanding of what happened or why they aren’t victims, take refuge in a defended section of the city. They move out by day to scavenge, safe because the Commuters don’t move at night. The survivors call themselves Stoppers because they are not Commuters, and return to stop in their refuge. Stoppers send out kill crews at night to keep the vicinity of their walled refuge clear of the zombies. The crew maybe different each night but they are ‘Seven on the crew again. Seven soldiers. Seven sinners. Seven stars.’

That’s the initial part of the plot, but the story is driven by the three main characters. The main protagonist is Sheri, a feisty young woman, who has had to learn weaponry and develop a soldier’s reflexes to survive. She is bitter about her man, Ike, who is easily dominated, unsure of himself, but knows he should stick with and by Sheri. Trixie is a younger woman – barely out of childhood, traumatized by what she’d witnessed. We are treated to a superb pen-portrait of Trixie with: ‘an island and there are no maps to tell you where her active volcanoes are situated, where her unpolluted streams are, her quicksand, her tribes of hungry cannibals.’

As the daytime scavenging is experienced, Sheri’s observations of the brown vegetation, and the silence of Nature, hint at another cause of the disaster. Has Man driven the Earth’s ecosystem into an unsustainable downward spiral that gave rise to a catastrophic dive? As Sheri leads her companions in an attempt to survive, you are invited to judge for yourself.

Lessons to be learnt? Yes, but the story is in itself a worthy exploration of the mind. I kept recalling Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring while reading this. Send a copy to Obama.

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NoxInflux
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 08:59:30 PM »

Hi guys!

That one sounds like a decent zombie work. I'm surprised by the recent fad of zombie stories. My cousin is writing an interesting zombie book now, he seems obsessed with the theme, it sure is popular. Major cities have "zombie walks" now, where people dress up as zombies and wander downtown!

I have not read any decent zombie material myself, but from what you say, this one might deserve a look.

Nox Influx
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