Like most things that I find harmful to humanity, the zombie infestation starts in a remote part of China. No one can figure out what happened to those infected or how to treat them. Is it rabies? Are they possessed? Is it a curse? All they know is that the infected become aggressive and try to bite anyone that comes close. There is no cure.
Global commerce is the reason zombies spread. Smugglers from parts of Asia export their goods through air and land travel. Smugglers start exporting people all over the world who are fleeing China and Tibet because of the zombie invasion. They arrive in India, The United States, England, Israel, Brazil, Pakistan, etc. It doesn’t take long before every country, especially Iceland, are reporting people with rabies-like symptoms. An opportunist creates and markets a treatment that people think will save them, only to find out that it does nothing to cure or save them. Leave it to some shmuck to profit from a global emergency.
The story is told through interviews with survivors from around the world of the zombie war. The author narrates a paragraph before each interview letting the reader know where he is, who he is interviewing, and what their function was during the war. The interviews are arranged into chapters that cover much of the war, starting with the warning signs that were ignored, moving onto the blame and panic, then the zombie war around the war, and finally the new world. The interviews cover a wide range of situations and emotions, ranging from deception and profit to terror at the living dead and frustration with government to heroism and ingenuity that only humans can pull off. The most difficult interviews for me to read were the ones involving the K-9 units (chapter Total War), so brace yourself for that one.
There was a theory that living above the snow lines would be better for the living humans, but little did those people know that humans can be much crueler that reanimated and bloodthirsty zombies. You see, the living dead would freeze in the cold part of winter and thaw in the spring, making winter the ideal season for living a more normal life. However, feral packs of animals and people roam around. Clans of people living by their own set of rules and ethics invade and loot peaceful areas. Desperate people turned on their neighbors and took whatever they needed. Aside from repairs and resupplying, people still had to deal with what mother nature had to hand out. Winter is still winter, and it lasts longer now that th atmosphere is clouded with smoke and ash from worldwide battles. Disease, frostbite, avalanches, hypothermia, and snowstorms were all still significant issues.
Somehow, the atmosphere begins to clear, and humans learn to deal with the zombies. Squadrons of people are sent on missions to drive off packs and kill the zombies, especially during the winter when they are frozen to the ground, and clear areas for human living again, slowly taking back the land.
When I started this book, the first chapter was eerily familiar to the COVID-19 epidemic that we are slowly coming out of. There was cover-up and dismissal of the danger the virus presented. There was promise of a prevention which was proven to be ineffective, but many profited from. There was misinformation and panic mostly caused by the incompetence of the media. High unemployment and government assistance programs drain the system. There are even open borders that allows infected people to easily cross into other countries they feel will save them. Does any of this sound a little real to you? Kind of spooky in a foretelling kind of way, right?