- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin; First Edition edition (January 18, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 0312658907
- Source: Library
Allison Hewitt and her coworkers at Brooks and Peabody Bookstore are trapped together when the zombie outbreak hits. Allison is able to keep in touch with the outside world through her blog and the military’s wireless network. Eventually, supplies begin to run low and the overall morale of the group diminishes. Realizing that they cannot remain there forever, they leave the bookstore in hopes of finding help and, in Allison’s case, her mother. Throughout the perilous journey, Allison keeps her followers updated through blog posts. In their journey to safety, Allison and her ever-changing group face horrible adversaries, both human and zombie alike.
I was introduced to Roux’s work when I picked up a copy of her newest book, Asylum, from my favorite independent bookstore. I wasn’t aware of her foray into zombie fiction, but once I did I decided to give them a try myself. While Allison Hewitt Is Trapped isn’t your typical zombie fiction, I did find myself intrigued by it. It doesn’t have the typical violence and gore of other fiction of its type, instead it focuses more on Allison (and her blog followers) and how they fare in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. I appreciated the blog format of the chapters, and the title of each blog post is a book title (Heart of Darkness, Hatchet, etc.) Regular “commenters” to her blog posts give the reader a glimpse of rest of the country, and the world, as deal with the repercussions of the attack.
While the plot isn’t the strongest, the development and growth of the characters make up for it. Allison starts out as your typical young woman, working at a bookstore. In time, she evolves into a no-nonsense, hatchet-wielding, zombie killer. Having such a strong female protagonist in a zombie novel is rare and for that, I thank Roux. I was a bit worried when a love triangle/story evolved, certain that if the novel was going to go on that tangent I would end up throwing it against the wall. Instead, Roux blends it naturally, not making it a major aspect of the plot.
To summarize, if you are looking for a gory, intense zombie novel, this is probably not going to satisfy you. However, if you are looking for a character driven examination of the human condition in the midst of turmoil, or if you are dipping your toes in the zombie fiction “water,” this is the book for you. Recommended.