Top critical review
on September 7, 2013
There are many books written in diary format in zombie-world, and very few of them that I particularly enjoyed. If I had known that Apocalypse Z was written as a diary, I therefore probably would have passed it over, but I'm glad I didn't. I believe that the name of the main character is never revealed, and although there's a chance it's my memory failing me, I'm pretty sure from one of the final scenes of the book that this is on purpose. So for the purposes of my review I shall call him Survivor Man.
Originally written in Spanish, and translated recently into English, Apocalypse Z is the journal of Survivor Man, a widowed lawyer, and his cat, Lucullus, and their experience of the global zombie apocalypse. What I really liked about the journal format in this case was that he does include a lot of information about the fall of the world to the undead, and that his journey always has a purpose - whether searching for other survivors, or escaping a bunch of dodgy sailors and their crazy captain - and he's also dedicated to his cat.
Pets in the apocalypse are rarely touched upon, and although there a few examples of dogs as companions or family members while fighting zombies, this is probably the first one I've come across with a cat - and as a cat person, it was a huge added bonus.
There was a turn in the plot halfway through, when Survivor Man meets a bunch of sailors on their ship, and this is where Apocalypse Z lost me a little, because I didn't really understand the point of it, and it all seemed a little far fetched and unnecessary. It did drive the rest of the plot, but it didn't sit very well with me - it felt like the author had imagined the most unlikely scenario possible just for the sake of having something unique, rather than something that fit.
Overall Apocalypse Z is a good, solid zombie read. It didn't blow me away, but it was enough to keep me satisfied and turning the pages, and I loved that the main character was so dedicated to his cat, and treated it more like a person than 'just an animal'. It does have some unique aspects, but not all of them felt to me like they belonged. However, I'll be interested to see where this series goes next, however currently the next book is not yet translated into English.