As Moody’s Autumn series continues, it’s been about a month and a half since a virus wiped out most of humanity and turned the dead into zombies—although the author doesn’t use either the word zombie or most of the familiar tropes. A small group of men and women are holed up in a block of flats, barricaded against the lumbering dead. But their uneasy safety doesn’t last, and eventually they’re forced out into the open, where, rather coincidentally, they meet up with another band of survivors who seem to have made themselves a much more secure stronghold, until clashing personalities inside the compound threaten to put them all at risk. This is a crisply written novel (although it’s not as visceral as Moody’s Hater series, which tackles the zombie theme from a more violent angle) with well-defined characters and a palpable sense of creeping terror: these undead might be sluggish and easy to kill, but they also seem to be a lot smarter than anyone realizes. The novel ends on a terrifying, tragic note, promising a suitably horrific finale for the series.
This review originally appeared in Booklist, November 2011.