The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks From The Apocalypse review

Dave dissects Steven C Schlozman’s novel, The Zombie Autopsies, and finds a gripping and realistic story of an undead epidemic...

There are devastating times ahead for humanity! In the next few years, the world will succumb to a zombie virus that will see much of the population eliminated and the survivors working towards finding a cure. The governments of the world will try many things, including nuclear hostility, leaving much of the world barren and the world’s reliance on all forms of digital technology completely and utterly shattered.

Thank the Lord for the World Health Organisation and the United Nations. They’re fighting to find a cure and have a facility called The Crypt, on a remote island, in which a number of scientists are experimenting on the NLH (No Longer Humans), suffering from Class IV of the virus.

Sadly, as we discover from the UN sanctioned introduction, there have been issues at The Crypt. A team was sent in to further the investigation and discover what happened to the now silent team. Presenting the text of Dr Stanley Blum’s notebook, we will discover more about the virus, accompanied by detailed drawings.

We discover that the UN and various nations around the globe attempted nuclear and non-nuclear methods of tackling the infection, all of which failed. The impact on the environment and atmosphere has left humanity incapable of using much of its digital technology, rendering everything from digital cameras to the Internet useless. Doctors can no longer share their findings without being in the same facility and the world itself is in a bit of a state.

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Science, however, is obviously key to any vaccine. Through The Crypt and similar facilities, it was hoped that the examination of live subjects would lead to major steps forward, despite the risk it put the scientists under. Infection came through bites, coughs and sneezes, resulting in many of the scientists succumbing to the infection that they were trying to fight.

As Blum attempts to work with his infection colleagues, we experience the stress and unusual behaviour of his colleagues, Guittierez and Pittman, as they try to do their jobs and stave off the inevitable.

When the end finally comes, it seems somehow fitting. From the very start, it’s obvious that a book like this can’t end with ‘and they all lived happily every after’, but it does leave the reader with hope for the future, and a chill down our spines.

The Zombie Autopsies is, quite frankly, engrossing. I started reading it by being completely detached, expecting it to be very workmanlike and a cash-in of sorts, thanks to the popularity of books like The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, both by Max Brooks, and the TV series The Walking Dead.  Go into any bookshop and you’ll see what I mean in the burgeoning ‘dark fantasy’ sections aimed at teenagers. 

As I continued reading, however, I found myself completely gripped by the text, finding myself trying to trace a path ahead from what I had been reading, almost as I would if I were reading something factual and trying to understand what I was reading.

The journal element of the book is interspersed with guidance and evaluation from the United Nations, emphasising the importance of this discovered material in the ongoing quest to eradicate a virus that has reduced the population of earth to a mere one-third. The UN portions advise that the journal is to be used as a basis for development towards a potential cure. The journal may not be full of facts and detail, but it’s going to the be the starting point for a new way of thinking.

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To add even further credence to what is presented, there are a series of appendices providing an indepth glossary of terms to the spread of ANSD, and the impact it has had on humanity. These additions don’t skimp on detail, and demonstrate the author’s understanding of storytelling, science and medicine, by creating a compelling, engaging and thoroughly enjoyable piece of fiction that is, at once, fantastical and all too real.

The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks From The Apocalypse is out now and available from the Den Of Geek Store.

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5 out of 5