Book Review – AZ: Anno Zombie by Peter Mark May (2012)

AZ: Anno Zombie
by Peter Mark May
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Publisher: Samhain Publishing

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I just love where Peter Mark May’s mind lives. It is an incredibly horrific and terrifying place…but I love to visit it nonetheless. On the heels of his breakout hit HEDGE END, May brings us a new glimpse into zombie horror with AZ: ANNO ZOMBIE. If you’re a zombie fan at all, this is one book that you must add to your collection!

If you are not familiar with AZ: ANNO ZOMBIE, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Samhain Publishing:

It’s the dawn of a new era…the year of the zombie!

Fire rained from the sky over Tucson that day. A dust cloud settled over the city. And the dead rose from their graves. Tom Hollinger raced to his ex-wife’s place to make sure she and his son where safe. They weren’t.

Tom was barely able to save the boy from his undead mother. Now, surrounded by a city in chaos, Tom, his son and a handful of friends are battling their way out of town, desperate to make it to safety while the army of the living dead grows in number every hour. The world no longer belongs to the living. A new era has dawned…Anno Zombie!

AZ: ANNO ZOMBIE is a bold take on a heavily populated genre. It is a brutal and graphic look into the heart of a zombie apocalypse, but it is also so much more. With this book, May gives us a stark vision of how quickly society could potentially crumble in the midst of such a cataclysmic event.

As with his previous publication, this book is well written and moves along at a nice pace. The prose flows nicely as well, allowing the reader full immersion into this grim and savage world. And the characters are well thought out and believable, a hodge-podge of various personalities and damaged souls. The result is a provocative and vicious book that will keep you glued to its pages.

Obviously, AZ: ANNO ZOMBIE is a tale about the walking dead; but at its core, the story focuses on one man and the lengths he will go to to protect his son and the people he cares about. The character of Tom is anything but a perfect father, but when the shit hits the proverbial fan, he does whatever he has to in order to provide for his son…even kill the living.

This human-drama element is just one of the several aspects that sets AZ: ANNO ZOMBIE apart from other zombie books. Another is May’s unique take on the zombies themselves. It is always refreshing to see an original idea for the origin of a zombie outbreak, and May certainly has one here. I will not give anything away, but I can honestly say that I’ve never run across this one before.

AZ: ANNO ZOMBIE is a definite must read and would make the perfect Christmas gift for any horror reader. Peter Mark May is a tremendous talent and an author to watch out for; if you are not familiar with his work now, I can almost guarantee that it won’t be long before you will be. Give this one (and his previous book HEDGE END, for that matter) a look for sure.

MSB

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