But something is wrong. There's blood in his boss's office. A woman is dead on the floor.
His boss is eating the cleaning lady.
He kills the man in self-defense- not that the cops believe him- and gets carted away for murder. As if his day wasn't bad enough, his boss managed to bite him during the struggle.
With the Red Flu tearing up his insides, Brody finds himself in a self-destructing New York, lost in the horrors of a crumbling city while fighting to stay alive. The question now is, if the Red Flu doesn't kill him, and someone with it doesn't, what will be left of him?
What will he become?
As a big fan of post-apocalypse and zombie novels, I was naturally drawn to Bleeders. Like most books within the genre, the story opens right before the outbreak happens so the reader can experience all the horror, panic and confusion that ensues. Inevitably, a group of characters team up in an effort to survive and avoid becoming infected. While Bleeders follows this standard progression for the most part, there are a few interesting twists that help set it apart from standard zombie novels while also adding a bit of complexity to the plot.
More than anything, I was became interested in this book because of the wisecracking main character Brody Tate, a millennial slacker in New York City whose cynicism about the burgeoning “Red Flu” epidemic is thrown out the window when he discovers his boss eating the company cleaning lady. Brody pinballs from one near death experience to another as he fights to stay alive in a metropolis that’s quickly being overtaken by panic, violence and fear. The author does an exceptional job of capturing an authenticity to Brody’s inner dialogue that helps the reader empathize with his dilemma and explain his actions.
All that said, the story does meander a bit in the middle with multiple scenes thrown in that don’t appear to serve any purpose in moving the story forward. They’re just there. In addition, the reader isn’t really given much insight into what each of the characters is feeling other than Brody. There’s just not much internal dialogue revealed for any of them. New characters are introduced throughout but again, without much background or access to their thoughts, the readers is left to figure out the new characters through their actions and Brody’s impressions.
Despite these shortcomings, Bleeders is well worth a read. I have a feeling this author will only get better with book 2 in the series which is already out.
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