I recently reviewed Audible version of The Scattered and the Dead, Book 0.5. As I said in my review of it, I totally got lost in a new universe.
The Scattered and the Dead 0.5 follows only one person Decker. His story begins twenty-one days before and continues until 57 days after. I think, but am not positive that the before/after dividing line is the night Decker sees “brightest light flashed in the window. It was like a gigantic flashbulb went off in the sky, so brief that I almost thought I might have imagine it somehow.”
The Scattered and the Dead Book 1 is a much larger cast and time period. The easiest way to illustrate this is to list the character’s names and where their stories start in Book 1:
Rex 68 days before
Baghead 9 yrs, 126 days after
Mitch 43 days before
Travis 44 days after
Erin 29 days after
Teddy 69 days after
Ray 3 days before
Lorraine 3 days before
As you can tell by the listing above, the book is not linear. It tells different people's stories with very different starting points. For example, Baghead’s story begins over 9 years after the event while Mitch’s story begins 43 days before. This was the hardest part of the book for me, the chronology. I think in the final version it might not be a bad idea, at least for readers like me, to include a straight timeline with a notation for where each person’s start begins. It would make it easier to visualize what part of the universe they are existing in. If I had any artistic ability (I cannot even draw stick figures), I would make an example.
My inability to keep the chronology straight was a very minor downside for me. The story was wonderful. There were characters like Erin and Mitch that I connected with. And then there were characters like Teddy that made me want to jump into the book and warn the other characters to avoid him at all costs. The ages of the characters vary also from children to middle age.
The situations that characters exist in are not static. Some characters are perpetually moving, either for foraging or for reasons that hopefully Book 2 will explain. Some are hunkered down and just trying to survive for as long as they can. The undead are not the worst monsters in this book. I think the authors do a great job of painting the human monsters in vivid colors. In fact, I can readily visualize some of those human monsters living here in the United States, now, without the apocalypse to create them.
As I said in my review of the first book, the authors have created a post apocalyptic universe that feels different than many of the other I have read (and I have read many). I was hoping to be able to pinpoint this difference after reading Book 1. Unfortunately I cannot. I think it will take Book2 and however many the authors want to write before I can say definitively what makes this universe different. If you like the post apocalyptic genre, this is a great series. Even if you are not a zombie fan, you will still like this series. The zombies are only one part of what drives this book. The Audible version of Book 0.5 was fabulous and I am eagerly awaiting the Audible release of Book 1, hopefully with the same narrator. Looking forward to the next book, as soon as possible (hint to authors). 5 of 5 stars.