This is a zombie novel written in the form of a journal. We watch the zombie apocalypse unfold through the eyes of an off-duty military guy. Originally self-published in 2004 by Bourne and then re-released by Permuted Press in 2007, I feel as though I’m in the vast minority in what I thought about this novel. I found that there wasn’t enough zombie mayhem and violence in this just shy of 200-page novel. The beginning moves along quick enough as “The Soldier” slowly comes to realize that the dead are rising and taking over the earth. But after he assembles his gear and puts his plan into effect, the book bogs down with long stretches of no action and no zombies. I found myself bored too many times in this one. There isn’t really anything new here and soon after starting it you get that “been there, read that” feeling.
Like the Morningstar Saga in the mid-2000’s (see my review here), Day by Day Armageddon suffers from focusing too much on the human characters and not enough on how the humans confront, face, and battle the hordes of zombies that are supposed to be inhabiting the earth. I’m not suggesting that these zombie authors ignore the human characters and their development; I’m simply pointing out that all too often when writers start focusing on the human characters they seem to forget that they’re writing a zombie novel.
My other main problem was the style it was written in. Writing it as the journal of a survivor sounds like a great idea on paper (no pun intended). But the problem with this is that it severely hinders the action in the story. We can only experience and “see” whatever the guy writing the journal experience and sees. As a result I was never able to fully get absorbed into the story. The back cover of the novel has this blurb:
“In your hands is the handwritten journal depicting one man’s struggle for survival. Trapped in the midst of global disaster, he must make decisions; choices that ultimately mean life, or the eternal curse to walk as one of them.”
Setting aside the terrible punctuation, the reader never experiences anything here on a “global” scale. All we get are the daily goings-on of the lead character and the people around him. For my tastes it just wasn’t enough.
Day by Day Armageddon has a strong following (which is obvious from its two publishing’s). Bourne has completed the second part, Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile, and is planning on a July 2010 release. I’m definitely gonna read the new one. I’m really curious where he takes the story because there weren’t really any cliffhangers from the first book that needed to be explored more. We’ll see. I’m also hoping he abandoned the journal-style in his new one and opens up the scope to a more epic feel. Again, we’ll see.
Author: J.L Bourne
Plot: 2 out of 5 stars (nothing new going on here)
Gore: 2 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 2 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer