This 4th installment to the series chronicling a British rage-style zombie apocalypse stands alone despite or rather because of its placement. The opening trilogy largely follows 12 hour increments of the pandemic’s spread from the limited POV of Rhys and later Vicky as they save 6 y.o. Flynn [Book 1], then Larissa [Book 2], and then battle the healthy and the infected to meet back up [Book 3].
This book veers dramatically on a new course into existing with the infected littering the landscape on a long term basis. The early chapters show Rhys and Vicky doing their first supply run from the freight containers in which they had taken shelter at the end of the last book. Boldly and abruptly, as they start their retreat back to young Flynn and his mother Larissa back at the containers, the storyline jumps a full ten years to Rhys and Vicky returning to the freight containers from yet another supply run. 10 years, no change in prospects and barely a notch forward in comfort. They’ve found nobody in the decade that’s elapsed.
Flynn is now a strapping teen still not allowed to leave the safe confines of the freight containers. His mother is just as unprepared since Rhys and Vicky have been doing all of the heavy lifting the entire time. But it’s time for Flynn’s education to begin.
The outer world starts to assert itself, too. Others have survived and are grouping together. A radio message beckons the uninfected to find the sanctuary of Home. A couple societies are glimpsed, with very different responses to the new state of the country.
This tale stands as Flynn’s coming-of-age. Unexpected turns of event separate Vicky and Flynn from Flynn’s parents, echoing the 3rd book. The plot really revolves around Flynn’s quick social and educational growth as he doesn’t remember people or times before life in the freight containers surrounded by zombies. His entire world has been 3 adults in a fractured world.
I highly enjoyed the previous three installments in the series [enough that it made my Jaffalogue’s Best Reads of 2015: Part 2]:
The Alpha Plague–5 stars
The Alpha Plague 2–4 stars
The Alpha Plague 3–5 stars