book review / sam

Allison Hewitt is Trapped (Audio) by Madeleine Roux

Search for zombie novels on Amazon.com and you’ll get tons of responses. Properly published, self published; erotic fiction and young adult fiction. It spans pretty much every target market with everyone trying to cash in on the hype. And let’s be real. There are some pretty awful zombie books out there.

Luckily, however, there are plenty of good ones, too. And Allison Hewitt is Trapped is one of them. Sure, the name doesn’t sound very creative. (And the next book in the series is called Sadie Walker is Stranded. But I took a chance.

And I’m glad I did.

I must preface, though, before I begin, that I did not actually read this book. Instead, I listened to it in the car on a cross country trip from Arizona to New York with no company but my douche bag cat. So my review reflects that experience. An experience that I do recommend, by the way. Not driving across country with a cat but listening to the book.

The book is written as a blog being kept by Allison Hewitt, the titular character. She works at a local bookstore while she’s attending school as a graduate student. When zombies attack their store out of the blue Allison and her co-workers barricade themselves in the break room where they survive off of vending machine food and try not to kill each other or go crazy. Or both. It’s during this period that Allison – who happened to have stashed her laptop in the staff locker room – discovers S-NET. It’s a special, ‘worst case scenario’ internet connection established by someone – the government? – that runs even after the end of the world.

With this internet connection, Allison begins to document her life now that the zombies have htaken over the world. She’s not the only one, though. Various people other people comment on the blog and they take some amount of hope from her continued survival as they struggle with their own. Allison is able to pass on little tidbits of information – some of it even lifesaving. Through these additional voices we get a hint at a wider network of survivors somewhere out here trying to get by.

But story is Allison’s and as the book continues she and her fellow survivors find themselves seeking a more permanent shelter. First in the apartments above their shop and then later, after tragedy strikes, somewhere better. A stranger over the radio offers hope for something more – survival, a community. Meanwhile her mother leaves her a note of some almost mythical community out-of-state where there truly is safety in numbers.

We follow her and a cast of various characters as they make their way in this strange world. It’s not always a happy story. People come and go – sometimes suddenly. Humanity and people have changed. There are no limits to what humanity will do – even Allison herself. She’s not perfect. She doesn’t react as some shining example of humanity might all the time. And that’s important. Allison is meant to be everyone – all of us. She’s meant to be a figurehead sort of representation of the average person and their experience in a world gone mad. Where people – including yourself – can be far more dangerous

And all the while, Allison is doing her best to bring her story not just to you as the reader but to what remains of humanity as we know it.

It’s a solid journey with a solid supporting cast. You’ll laugh. You might cry. You’ll genuinely care about some of the people – even the other commenters on the blog. You’ll wonder what happened to them long after they are gone. (And you’ll become quite the fan of fire axes.)

Listening to this book just makes those emotional ties even stronger. The audiobook is fully cast. Though the blog is written by Allison alone each comment is read by another cast member and those sparse lines become real people.

I recommend the book – in either format – very highly.

Final Grade: A-

UPDATED AUGUST 21ST:
Pick up your own copy of this book at Amazon for just $1.94 while the price is still up.

There’s no official book trailer for this particular book on Youtube.com that I could find so enjoy this pretty well put together fan trailer.

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