‘Walking Deads ‘ or zombies, though scary to some, but mostly all of us are likely to get hooked on such stories. Quite a number of films and hundreds of books have featured these ‘undeads’. Shana Festa’s debut novel Time Of Death : Induction is a page-turner in this genre. Once you’re in the story, you are sure to grab more of it…almost whole of it, in one go. ( just as a true zombie) .
A sudden outbreak of zombie apocalypse due to the release of some unidentified underground gas,makes the Lee County of Florida a topsy-turvy land. Emma Rossie, a 37-year-old nurse trainee,who is about to don her degree in a few days finds herself in a situation she dared most in her lifetime. A land infested with undeads or ‘Boogeys’ as they are named in the book, compels Emma and her husband, Jake, to flee for their dear life, accompanied by Emma’s Yorkie,Daphne.
“Jake put the gear in drive and we drove away from our home. The only place we had ever lived together, and where a decade’s worth of memories had been shattered in the blink of an eye.”
The way they try to save others, as well as themselves, is the pivotal incident with which the plot goes on.
Here, here, my readers..please don’t sneer. There is nothing unique in the plot, I know. The uniqueness rather lies in the writing style of Shana. The lucidity of language and her engaging storytelling style keeps the tension intact till the end. I never found the story flaccid or blunt as I was devouring it. It is this fast pace and action-packed incidents that hold the key to the success of this book.
The woman protagonist, Emma, has been portrayed as a woman who is in full control over her emotions. I like her character in spite of her using too much swear words for somehow that has been perfectly blended with her attitude. Let her use the ‘eff ‘ thing..it suits her !
Emma’s husband , Jake, an ex-military person and as hot as a furnace, behaves perfectly as and when the situation has demanded. Other characters, too, are quite realistic and one can relate with them easily.
I also love the occasional punch of humour which acts as a relief in an otherwise gory ambiance.
Shana’s descriptions are too perfect, you can almost visualize the decaying bodies of the zombies.
“Corpses more than a few days old, however, showed significantly more decomposition. Their skin became marbled and blistered. Hair began to fall out. As the putrefaction continued, a greenish-black liquid oozed from their mouth and nose and any other orifice. The pressure of the gas would cause eruptions in the skin to create another opening for the liquid to escape. The science geek in me knew that the brain would eventually liquefy.”
The story is not only about zombies, it is about a crucial time when everyone must have nerves of steel to save his/her own life and it shows that hard times and bleak moments bring out the best in us. It is also a a story of love,hope and camaraderie.
The story,of course, has its own loopholes.Though the author offers us a reason for the zombie apocalypse, it doesn’t sound much realistic or scientific. But then on the other hand, there are instances where the authors don’t even bother for any explanation. One fine morning, the zombies just wake up and unsettle everything. There are some coincidences which don’t seem plausible but you’re likely to overlook them while reading the book.
Shana could have provide a permanent solution to end the pandemonium. An open-ended climax, where she lets the despair hung in the darkness of doubts and uncertainty paving the way for a sequel to the book.
Time of Death is a nice one-time read especially for those who like paranormal stories.
From my side it’s 4/5
About The Author
Shana Festa graduated from Edison State College with a degree in nursing. With her background in psychiatric nursing and her experience as THE BOOKIE MONSTER, she brings a unique female perspective to the zombie genre. Originally from Massachusetts, Shana currently resides in sunny Florida with her husband Tony and two dogs. TIME OF DEATH: INDUCTION is her debut novel.
You can visit her online at Shanafesta.com and Bookie.monster.com. Shana loves to hear from readers. Or can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter .