I’d like to start my first zombie indie (Zindie… ha!) book review with a great work from Keith Adam Luethke. I found this one by browsing through the Kindle store on Amazon.
With the straightforward title “A Zombie Apocalypse”, and after reading the author’s description of the novella, I knew exactly what I was getting into. While independent author Keith Adam Luethke doesn’t offer many new zombie concepts in this story, there are definite parts that make it an interesting read. Keep in mind this is the first installment of what will be a series of novellas. The sequel to A Zombie Apocalypse (A Zombie Apocalypse 2: Spreading the Disease) is already out.
A Zombie Apocalypse is a first person account of the end of days through Rachel Cormac’s perspective. Part of this short novella is from Rachel’s living point of view, while the rest is from her zombie one. She is a lone woman on a mission to reunite with her sister and niece a few states away in Ohio. Along the way Rachel gets turned into a zombie, and through a little twist ends up being an advanced, intelligent undead. Not overpowered though, as we sometimes see in the still-intelligent-zombie scenario. Kudos to Luethke for keeping it real! (as real as things can get in zombie world, of course.)
After Rachel is infected, Luethke has some delightful, gory scenes that didn’t disappoint. Pre-infection the story is a little slow and predictable (find a car, get some resources, resources are lost, etc), but once I learned that Rachel is a different breed of infected, my interest grew. There’s a graphic scene (and one implied one, I believe) involving rape, but I found that they contributed to the story.
Luethke had ample opportunity to slow down and develop Rachel into a character I could care about, but it seems like he rushed the story too much. I understand this is the first in the series and perhaps there will be more in the next installment…but since this is a standalone piece I needed an instant connection to Rachel that would make me want to buy and read the next installment. Even the end of the book didn’t provide a strong enough cliffhanger to prompt buying the next.
Since this is an independently published novel, be prepared for the occasional misuse of words, typos, and grammatical errors. However, unlike some indie works I’ve read before, the content is still easy to understand. I was hung up on a few areas where I needed to reread in order to get what the author meant, but overall it wasn’t too bad. Luethke’s novella would benefit from a professional editor (as some of his Amazon reviewers suggest), but as you might know, they are expensive. Yet some of his errors, like misused words and sluggish phrasing, could easily be fixed. The beauty of Kindle is that you can upload an updated version of your work whenever you want; I recommend that all indie authors take advantage of that.
Overall it is evident Luethke has awesome potential to be a great writer and is certainly on his way. Despite its occasional flaws, I’d still recommend this to anyone who wants some indie zombie action. It’ll pass time quickly and has enough captivating content that you shouldn’t be disappointed.
Read a Zindie Author Interview with Keith!
And do not forget to grab a copy of his novella on Amazon.com. It is only 99 cents right now. Great deal for a great book!