Original publish date: 6 May 2014
Zombies. Yasssssssssssss. Apocalyptic. Yassssssssssssssssssss!
Panic in the countryside. When I was thinking of titles for this post, references to Panic! at the Disco were abundant. I had to suppress myself in order to do justice to K. R. Griffiths’s Panic that is not happy music and rather a haunting story of an outbreak taking over an otherwise quiet little town in the Welsh countryside.
Perhaps it was my recent power-marathoning of the AMC’s The Walking Dead (in order to catch up to the rest of the world!) that had me eagerly flipping the pages and finding parallels, but I think that it was the details and suspense driving me forward through the text more. I found the rotating omniscient narrator a good choice as a device to tell the different sides of the experience of the Infected, as well as bringing the storylines of various characters together toward the end of the book.
With my reference to The Walking Dead, that centers around my main contention with most apocalyptic literature: it’s focused around the United States, even though there are sooooooooooo many other places in the world. I mean, really. The U.S. likes to think that it’s the center of the world, but it’s not–but I digress. I liked that this story was centered in Wales, it provides a more globalized reach to apocalyptic stories, and it features a small town instead of a metropolis area that has become commonplace. It was a fresh take on the trend of zombie apocalypse stories.
There are quite a few questions left unanswered, that will hopefully be answered in the subsequent books. While the origin of this outbreak that caused the Infected was hinted at toward the end (and has this reader intuitively guessing based on other similar stories), there is still quite a bit of plot-filling-in that ought to be covered in the sequels.
Overall, I’d give this a 4 out of 5 stars.