Book recommendation – The Final Cut

My friend (and THE FRONT co-conspirator) CRAIG DILOUIE released THE FINAL CUT, the long-anticipated third book in his INFECTION trilogy at the end of last year. Having just finished reading it, I’m pleased to report that it was well worth the wait.

It’s a testament to Craig’s skill as a writer that I felt able to jump back into the story, despite it having been almost a decade since the previous book in the series – THE KILLING FLOOR – was released. We’re right back into the action straightaway and it doesn’t let up throughout. Although the book is focused on a relatively small cast of characters, it’s evident that these people are the key players in humanity’s fight for survival against the unique alien scourge that’s decimated life on earth.

I’ve followed Craig’s work from the outset. From TOOTH AND NAIL onwards, he’s told a number of apocalyptic tales from the point of view of some of those folks on the military front line. Typically, stories with a detailed military content leave me cold, but time and again I find myself enjoying Craig’s writing and the realistic, personal perspective he brings to these chaotic, world-defining battles. The focus remains on the people and their physical and emotional fights, rather than the calibre of the bullets they’re firing.

It was great to finally get to read the last book in the trilogy. It’s sometimes hard to hit the landing when you’re writing sequels, particularly when the last book was written more than ten years previously, but THE FINAL CUT brings the story to a smart and satisfying conclusion. As many of you may know, I’m a sucker for hearing about the post-post-apocalypse, and the book’s coda, in which we get a glimpse of life with the Infection after another ten years, was very much appreciated.

You can grab a copy of THE FINAL CUT from Amazon now. Highly recommended.


Here Alone

A couple of weeks back I had the pleasure of catching up with my friend WAYNE SIMMONS. Wayne’s good, by the way, as a lot of you have been asking. Slightly more tattooed and bearded than you might remember, but he’s as chilled out and positive as ever. He fell out of love with the horror genre several years ago, and we’ve barely talked about it since. So imagine my surprise when he came up with a few zombie movie recommendations out of the blue. Today’s recommendation is one of those films, and it’s a movie I hadn’t heard of until Wayne told me about it. HERE ALONE is a minimalist, slow-burn horror which is well worth a couple of hours of your time.

A young woman struggles to survive on her own in the wake of a mysterious epidemic that has killed much of society, and forced her deep into the unforgiving wilderness.

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I am Legend

IamLegendRichard Matheson’s I AM LEGEND is a remarkable book. Do a straw poll of a hundred horror authors and ask them to name the single piece of fiction which most influenced them, and I’ll wager that a good number will cite I AM LEGEND. It’s not just authors – the same is probably true of film-makers too. You can’t read the book without having scenes from George Romero’s original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD play out in your head.

There’s no question, therefore, that this is an hugely influential novel, and the fact it’s been filmed on no less than three occasions is further proof of that. Interestingly, though, it’s also a remarkably slight book, coming in at less than 200 pages. So how does Matheson cram so much into so little? I decided to try and find out. There will unavoidably be spoilers ahead.

As I type I’ve literally just finished re-reading the book for the umpteenth time. I thought it would be interesting to give you my thoughts on the novel and then, over the next few weeks, to look at each of the film adaptations in turn (and if you’re not aware of the movies, they are as follows: LAST MAN ON EARTH, THE OMEGA MAN and I AM LEGEND).

I’m sure you know the basic plot by now but, just in case, here’s the back cover blurb: Robert Neville may well be the only survivor of an incurable plague that has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him.

By day, he scavenges for food and supplies, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But all the while the infected lurk in the shadows, watching his every move, waiting for him to make a mistake…

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