Frightful Friday is a regular meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week.This week’s featured title is Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo:
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 30 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook, Unabridged
- Publisher: Tantor Audio (March 26, 2012)
- Source: Personal copy
- Narrated by: Sean Runnette
As the H1N1 virus runs rampant throughout the country, people line up to receive the vaccine. Unfortunately, the rush to get the vaccine to the market didn’t allow time for testing. Within days, those who obtained the vaccine have died, only to rise again.
Michael Talbot is a ex-marine and self-proclaimed survivalist. He’s been preparing for a situation like this all of his life and has an inventory of food rations and weapons at the ready. Tucked in the save haven of Little Turtle, their neighborhood community the Talbots, joined by Walmart greeter Tommy, prepare to face the unknown. Tommy isn’t as physically capable to withstand the zombies as the others in this motley group, yet the foresight he brings through the voice in his head (Ryan Seacrest), saves the group on several occasions. One such threat is a female zombie who appears to be vastly more superior than the rest of the walking dead around her. Why is she obsessed with the Talbots? Is she there to help, or to hinder, their survival?
I know, I know. Reading the summary and this sounds like the most ridiculous book ever. However, this book (the first in a long, successful series) is likely to be my favorite zombie series every. Tufo creates a wholly terrifying world in which a simple flu virus wipes out the population. It doesn’t get any scarier than that, right? Add to that a cast of characters so genuine and believable, so much so that you want to know them in “real-life” and you have the recipe for a truly stellar series.
Michael Talbot is, by far, one of my favorite protagonists ever. I mentioned that he’s a former marine, but he’s also a severe germaphobe. He adds a level of hilarity, paired with compassion and a deep love for his family and friends. Without his character, I feel this novel would be severely lacking. One moment I’m laughing, the next I’m terrified at the fate that befalls this family.
Tommy is another endearing character you can’t help but love. Tommy worked with Talbot’s son at the local Walmart. They just happened upon him during a rescue and quickly realize it is fate that brought them together. Tommy’s passion lies in what he will eat next (likely a PopTart) but within him resides a power to see the future.
To say this series is addictive is an understatement. The moment I finished the audio for this title, I downloaded the next. I’m thankful there are several more books to this series but also fearful as to how I will deal once I reach the end. The idea is almost as terrifying as a zombie apocalypse.
As mentioned, I listed to the audio production of this book. I don’t know that I would have the same experience had I read it. The narrator’s (Sean Runnette) voice closely resembles that of Richard Romano (Everyone Loves Ramond). While I was unfamiliar with his voice work before, I can no longer imagine anyone else narrating this series. His voice has the uncanny ability to be completely series one moment and in a flash switch to something outrageously crude or hilarious, without skipping a beat. He honestly adds an element to the overall reading/listening experience that truly makes this series a success.
Bottom line: if you are looking for an addictive and unique piece of zombie fiction, you can’t afford to miss out on this one. Highly, highly recommended!