Around December 21, 2012, the end of the Maya's Long Count calendar, a world-changing virus springs up bringing the dead to life. Central to the plot is Hannah Winter, the head of information technology at Biogenetics & Disease Control, a medical research company below the city of Dulce, New Mexico. The prologue explains that in Chiapas, Mexico a raccoon with a mutated strain of rabies attacks a couple of campers. The woman dies from her neck wound. The raccoon bites and infects the man, who then kills the animal with a tire iron later transforming him into a zombie. He spreads the virus by biting a truck driver and a fruit seller. Nineteen-year-old Jenna Winter, Hannah's sister, enters a Starbucks restaurant in San Antonio, Texas, to buy her favorite latte while zombies roam the area without her knowledge. An out-of-control bus totals her Honda due to zombie chaos and Jenna flees the vicinity finding a hotel for the night. Jenna telephones Hannah, who persuades her to travel to New Mexico to be with her. Julie Mehta, a Biogenetics & Disease Control virologist, works to find an antidote for this horrible plague affecting the Northern Hemisphere.
In Greyson’s intriguing debut, a young woman struggles to stay alive while navigating through a zombie-like pandemic and learning about her own strength.
It is 2012. The Mayas calendar has ended with a contagious disease that brings the dead back to life. When the boundaries are breached and the cities overrun, 19-year-old Jenna Winter escapes to travel from San Antonio, Texas to New Mexico to be with her sister Hannah who is the head of Information technology at Biogenetics & Disease Control, a medical research company located deep beneath the city of Dulce, New Mexico. At the same time, Julie Mehta, a staff virologist, works diligently to develop a vaccine to prevent the humanity from contracting the infection.
Greyson’s cinematic narrative easily pulls readers into this bleak but enthralling story of survival. Through Jenna’s ability to maintain an emotional distance from the horrors around her as her survival instinct kicks in, Greyson explores the boundless capacity of perseverance in human race. Greyson’s prose is simple and accessible, plotting tight, and characterization thoroughly done. The biological research details are intriguing without being over-the-top.
Jenna who starts as a naïve 19-year-old college dropout, realizes maturity and strength while trying to survive through months of pandemic, and it’s her character that stays at the heart of the story. Dr. Julie Mehta’s determination and Hannah’s calm demeanor make them thoroughly likable characters. Greyson poignantly portrays people’s fear, insecurities, fickleness, and bitter rage through Jenna and her other characters.
Lovers of apocalyptic fiction will be delighted.