Soon the bodies line the streets. Rumors of zombies spread. And then the power goes out.
Getting to know someone could be harder than he thought, let alone surviving in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
He might even need to leave the apartment.
Have to admit right up front, this is my first exposure to the writing duo of Tim McBain and L.T. Vargus. I had no idea what to expect going in but was immediately intrigued by the idea of using a letter (written by a lonely introvert named Decker) as the basis of the entire prelude. It feels deeply personal and gives the reader an unvarnished insight into the character's thinking. In this case, that involves a lot (like a lot, a lot) of self reflection and admitted neurosis.
The pacing of events is very slow at the start and mostly center around how the plague directly affects Decker and the small, insulated world he’s built for himself within his apartment. Although he’s a likeable character, I found myself questioning how he’s going to survive the end of the world. As a reader, the combination of the slow pacing and Decker’s inability to cope had me growing a bit impatient about midway through the 162-pages. That’s when things start to shift a bit.
Decker forces himself to slip outside his comfort zone as he uses his single biggest asset - his intelligence - to figure out a path forward. By the end of the prelude, his mindset shifts a great deal. The nature of the change was surprising and a bit disturbing but definitely had me wanting to find out what’s next for the unexpectedly resourceful Decker.
Overall, I loved the original idea for how McBain and Vargus chose to tell the story. The writing and the character felt extremely authentic. My thoughts/opinions of Decker shifted from intrigued to sympathetic to doubtful to disappointed to surprised and finally to frightened. While the slow pacing at the beginning was sometimes difficult to push through, it made the transformation all the more dramatic and impactful by the end. Any fan of apocalyptic fiction will want to download this prelude immediately. I'm already looking forward to Book 1.
Have you read Book 0.5 or any other novels by Vargus and McBain? Having read this review, are you intrigued enough to give the duo a try? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
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