Within 30 seconds someone drops dead. Within 24 hours, 99 percent of the population is dead. This is how David Moody starts off his novel Autumn. It was quick, it was brutal, and it made me want to keep reading. Talk about starting off with a bang. So, now 99 percent of the population, presumably around the world, have just keeled over. Obviously, this leaves the ones still alive a tad shell shocked. But it doesn't stop there. Within a few days, the bodies in the street start to get up and walk. They seem harmless enough, but their numbers are worrisome, and survivors need to make a few decisions.
The few survivors, in the beginning, have held up in a community center until the bodies start moving. Then three of them make the decision to leave. The story follows Carl, Michael, and Emma, as they navigate this new dead world. Seems easy enough at first, if a bit nauseating, but then they start to notice that the harmless, uncoordinated cadavers may not be so harmless anymore.
Mr. Moody takes you along the path of the three survivors and, without ever using the word zombie, the progression of the dead. He even managed to tell the story without nearly as much gore as some undead stories tend to use. He draws you in with long undead claws and doesn't let go until the very end. This story is part of a series, and I intend to read the rest of them.