Posted on January 1, 2009 by Matt-M-McElroy
After twilight, when the morning comes and the sun rises, will anyone be left alive?
Travis Adkins follows up Twilight of the Dead with a new adventure for the surviving Black Berets and the citizens of the walled town of Eastpointe. This book picks up the very next morning and continues the story after the characters confrontation with the mad Dr. Dane from the previous novel.
I’m going probably going to have some major spoilers in this review, so don’t read any further if you want to discover these story elements on your own. You’ve been warned…
Twilight of the Dead left us with Courtney and Leon (just “cured” from the zombie plague) hiding out from the hordes of zombies. The rest of the team was dead and Courtney had managed to finish off Dr. Dane through luck and a bit of rage.
Interestingly enough, not all of the other Black Berets were killed. Vaughn somehow survived the attack and finds his way out of the room Dane had locked him up in. Apparently Dane was either going to experiment on Vaughn or have him for lunch (it seems that the “cure” works, but the Doc was more than a little crazy). As we learned from the first book, Vaughn is a skilled warrior and he manages to fight through hundreds of undead, even though he is wounded. This novel gives us some flashbacks into his past and we find out what he was up to before the zombies destroyed society. Some of it is interesting, other bits are a bit off (Vaughn’s relationship with his sister seems to have been added purely for shock-value to show how much of a rebel he is and is not fleshed out enough to really matter).
We also learn that Vaughn was let in on one of the little secrets the leaders of Eastpointe didn’t want the general population to know. We discover that there are other communities out there in the world, surviving the hordes of zombies and trying to rebuild a piece at a time. Vaughn helps keep this secret from the citizens of Eastpointe for a time. This is a great tie-in to a mysterious scene from the previous novel I had always wondered about.
One thing about this book that is different from the first novel is the character focus. Twilight of the Dead was almost completely about Courtney Colvin and her struggles to survive in this new world. This novel jumps from character to character as the story progresses and we get to see the world from the point of view of Courtney, Leon, Vaughn and a few others. Each experiences the events of the story from their own world view and sometimes the reader knows what is going on before the character does.
I really would have preferred that the story stay focused on a single character and not jumped chapter to chapter. It need not be about Courtney this time around, but that worked really well for the first novel. Telling the events from a single character’s point of view would have made for a very different story and some of the history would have more difficult to reveal, but I think the book would have had more focus and the horror would have been more personal.
Still, one of the author’s strengths is world-building. The setting of Eastpointe, the development of the Black Berets and the supporting cast make this series one of the more entertaining zombie survival horror adventures available today. It looks like we’ve got another book on the way and I can’t wait to see it.
Review by Matt M McElroy