Having just reviewed Tooth and Nail – a great book from DiLouie, I was expecting another action-packed gore-fest along with lots of deep characters. I wasn’t disappointed because that’s exactly what I found in The Infection: action, gore, and well-developed, interesting cast. Having said that, you should know that this is not your father’s zombie story. It has parts that reminded me of the original Alien movie with a character like Sigourney Weaver, and parts that reminded me of Will Smith in Independence Day with his last-ditch mission to save the world.
DiLouie begins with a very short prologue, which serves to introduce one of the main characters, but also gives us a very brief vision of the first days of the zombie apocalypse. I liked this approach, because you get to the meat of the story right away – nothing worse than spending half a book leading up to the zombie apocalypse that you know is coming. In The Infection, we’re deep into action by page four.
The story revolves around a protagonist called Sarge, a soldier with combat experience, now left with nothing of his unit except a tank , various weapons and supplies, and a couple of enlisted men. The tank proves to be a great asset as well as a target, grabbing the attention of humans, zombies, and monsters alike. And yes, I said monsters. Whatever caused the zombies is also creating hideous monsters and parasitic infections, and this is why the book is not your father’s zombie story. I wouldn’t want to read the book on a dark night while camping, or in a dark building in a power-less metropolis either. You won’t sleep easy
The story takes us into the minds of Sarge and his men, a policewoman, a teacher, and a high school student as they band together to make their way to somewhere safe, somewhere hopeful, somewhere that feels like humanity has a chance. They encounter serious troubles along the way but do eventually make it to an outpost – almost a small city where a few thousand survivors are humanity’s last hope of making a stand.
Do they join this group and succumb to a new society’s rules and after what they’ve been through, and is that even possible? You’ll have to read the book and find out what happens next, but I can tell you that this part of the book is a story in itself and the action is intense. If you’ve read any of DiLouie’s novels, or even if you haven’t – read this one – you won’t be disappointed.