"This Dark Earth" Sheds New Light on the Zombie Novel

Title:  This Dark Earth
Author:  John Horner Jacobs
Format:  Print ARC
Length:  352 pages
Publisher:  Gallery Books

In a bleak, zombie-ridden future, a small settlement fights for survival and looks to a teenager to lead them...

So you survived the zombie uprising. Now what?

The land is contaminated, electronics are defunct, the ravenous undead remain, and life has fallen into a nasty and brutish state of nature. You need: food, water, weapons.

Welcome to Bridge City in what was once Arkansas—part medieval fortress, part Western outpost, and the precarious last chance for civilization.

A ten-year-old prodigy when the world ended, Gus is now at fourteen a battle-hardened young man. Gus designed Bridge City to protect the living few from the shamblers always at the gates. Now he’s being groomed by his physician mother, Lucy, and the gentle giant Knock-Out to become the next leader of men. But an army of slavers is on its way, and the war it wages for the city’s resources could mean the end of survival as we know it. Can Gus be humanity’s savior? If he is, will it mean becoming a dictator, a martyr, or maybe something worse than even the zombies?
Grab a sturdy headknocker, strap on some Kevlar, and prepare to shape the future of humankind.
-Goodreads
My Thoughts
This is a zombie experience like no other...
Let me explain.

Though there are zombies galore in this book (I mean, of course there are...It's a zombie book. Duh!)
This book is about so much more than the shambling undead.
It is stories of people who survive the end of the world as we know it and the creation of another as they come to understand it.
The dialogue and situations are raw and real, as they would be in any war.  This is after all a collection of stories detailing a fight to the death for the human race.

The most compelling aspects of this read lie not in the humans' battle with the zombies, but in their fight with each other and with themselves.  It is exciting to see how the threat of extinction  effects the moral compasses of each of the players in this drama.  Driving a select few to the basest parts of themselves, making heroes of some, and causing others to question the existence of a true right or wrong at all.

The number of fully developed characters that Mr. Jacobs was able to include in this read while still maintaining the break-neck pace of the novel and the edge-of-your-seat action is simply phenomenal.
Cases In Point:
Lucy- the doctor, the mother, the wife, the leader of a new nation
Gus- the son, the prodigy, the confused shy boy, the prince
Knockout-the trucker, the father, the lover the friend, the martyr
Tess-the mother, the whore, the victim, the murderer
Konstantine-slaver, pimp, tyrant, PURE EVIL
Though this book is categorized as YA, this is by no means a book that be recommended for anyone under 16, due to graphic scenes depicting rape and violence.

This is a story not to be missed, and one that once read...will not be forgotten.

My Rating:


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1 comments:

Annette said...

Haven't heard of this one. I love a good zombie book! Thanks!

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