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Cities are bombed out ruins and wilderness is humanity’s new home. The undead roam the earth, and the new world order is about the struggle to survive. Sonny Daniels begins an emotional and physical journey of personal survival and protecting those he loves.
While survival is a constant struggle, Sonny’s most desperate fight is the struggle preserve some semblance of a compassionate soul. Sonny and his parents are caught in the zombie outbreak in upstate New York. After the passage of the first year, their base is attacked by bandits and their safety has again been compromised. Fearing for their loved ones, Sonny’s parents send him and his orphaned childhood friends, Ashley and Carrie, to Fort Denver Colorado on a military plane.
When Fort Denver is overrun with zombies, the three are alone in a zombie infested wasteland without the army’s protection, forced to rely upon one another and a handful of equally desperate survivors they encounter along the journey. Sonny is determined to do whatever it takes to protect Ashley and Carrie while finding a safe place to call home, but survival can force you to make dark decisions.
Outbreak by Christopher Cole is book 1 in a new series called The Dark Days. Aimed at young adults, this is an apocalyptic, heart-thumping, zombie thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat!
The story starts off in New York around the central character, Sonny, and his parents Heather and Jack. Nearly eleven years old, Sonny is your normal typical youth. Two of his best friends are the sisters next-door, Ashley and Carrie. The first thing they learn is that Ashley and Carries mum isn’t well and is in hospital. Little do they know that this was the first indicator that their lives were about to change in a very dramatic and horrifying way. One day they are shopping in the Mall, the next day the military are evacuating everyone and trying to get people to safety in Fort Drum. With dramatic scenes from the offset, this book is not for the fainthearted. Before they can even leave, the city is being bombed and the monsters are running riot!
Throughout all the battles with zombies and bandits, the author weaves in a story of a young boy having to grow up way too quick. My favorite line from the book is: Courage takes time to grow, but it begins with a choice. Boy, does Sonny have tough choices to make! The loyalty he has to his family, (in which he includes new family members – the people they meet along the way) sees him becoming a very young hero. Ashley and Carrie know that Sonny will do everything possible to keep them safe. There is realism within the book, in that the author shows you through Sonny, how apocalyptic days might really affect you. Although there is extreme death in the book, the details are kept to a minimal, more like telling you that loads of people died, rather than showing you, which I think is very important for a young adult book.
Christopher Cole has an easy-to-read style of writing, and creates a very atmospheric setting for this extremely fast-paced apocalyptic adventure. Outbreak will appeal to young fans of The Walking Dead, and comes highly recommended by Chick Lit Café. Book reviewed by TN Traynor for Chick Lit Café.