Autumn: Purification Paperback – Aug 16 2011
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About the Author
David Moody is the author of Hater, Dog Blood, Autumn and Autumn: The City. He grew up in Birmingham, England, on a diet of horror movies and post-apocalyptic fiction. He started his career working at a bank, but then decided to write the kind of fiction he loved. His first novel, Straight to You, had what Moody calls "microscopic sales," and so when he wrote Autumn, he decided to publish it online. The book became a sensation and has been downloaded by half a million readers. He started his own publishing company, Infected Books. He lives in Britain with his wife and a houseful of daughters, which may explain his preoccupation with Armageddon.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you worked your way through Autumn and its sequel, The City, you pretty much know what you're getting. Some occassional grisle and gore but mostly a lot of complaining and "didnt-we-already-go-over-this" dialogue. Still, I know I was at least invested enough to see how things turn out. The sadist in me wanted more of the survivors to get mauled by the hordes but the Lost fan in me was interested to see how the ending would develop from here.
Most of the most annoying characters have been weeded out by now, so you know that you won't get too many "what's the point" speakers from here on in, but you still get your gaggle of quitters and whiners, which would be fine, if it weren't every other conversation.
The scenes at the airport are certainly intense and make for the most thrilling in the series since the farmhouse stand-off on the first book.
The Autumn series did just-enough blood/guts/gore to keep me invested, the characters were interesting at time, annoying at others, and Moody's reliance on describing the state of decay on the zombies became less powerful the more and more he did it. By then, he needed to raise the bar and emotional resonance by sacrificing a few more brave souls in a gruesome demise.
As I said Autumn Purification follows the characters from where they ended up in the prior novel (I won't give away where), of course it wouldn't be much of a novel if they lived happily ever after there so of course after a little while they are back in those vehicles and on the run again, with a couple of extra characters, desperate to find somewhere to stop where they can escape the tens of thousands of putrid smelling rotting corpses that like flies, just seem to want to hassle them. One on one a corpse is just a bother, but on mass their numbers seem to present some sort of danger (although to be honest I still don't really see it). But the point is the survivors seem to think there's one and are terrified and act accordingly. Internal tension is just as much if not a bigger threat than the walking corpses. When all hope seems lost this group will encounter a couple of other survivors with an idea that injects a massive amount of hope to a possible peaceful zombie free existence. But is it too good to be true?
I did find that the consistency of some of these characters has changed a fair bit from the initial and previous novel, especially Emma who seems to have gotten younger, either that or the affects of travelling alone with someone in highly stressful circumstances, when there's not a lot of other prospects around can create lustful feelings no matter if that person is old enough to be your grandmother. More likely Moody has made her younger since the first novel became a movie (which I haven't seen so I don't know how old she is but I assume she would be younger than the book) or just to allow the changes in the plot of the series to work. Also Cooper's actions at one point seem completely out of character, especially when you consider there was a safe way at hand to transport the people who needed to get to where they needed to survive, and when you consider they used to be his colleagues before the world changed. I would have liked to have also seen more of the story told through these characters eyes, especially in those scenes and in the place they were at the start of the story. Although maybe Moody will put us in their minds in one of the next sequels, as going back in time with parallel stories to the first novel occurred with the first sequel. But still Purification would have been more satisfying read if ther points of view were in here.
The story evolves around the same group of survivors that was featured in the previous, `Autumn, the City' book. The action starts exactly where it stopped there. The survivors are sheltered in an underground, army-occupied bunker. They take the decision to venture out of it after the shelter gets overwhelmed by a mass of zombies and all hope to stay safely in is lost. What follows is their quest for survival in a devastated, highly perilous world.
Without lifting the curtain off of the story plot, please remember that David Moody is a talented English writer who has decided to take his time to tell a very realistic tale of survival without any kind of biased opinion. Zombies are never called zombies, they are depicted as beings that used to be normal and that now suffer from their decaying condition. They don't hurt for pleasure, or without reason. The military is shown as a group of very different characters. They are not described as a stereotypical, 2-bit group of dumb-minded, orders-obeying robots. Some of the survivors are selfish and meet their end without judgment, while it becomes clear that their attitude is actually dictated by their incapability to feed their hope any longer. Some others are brave and courageous, but also subject to doubt. Boredom is shown as an implacable enemy. The fragility of hope in people's heart is demonstrated over and over. Only a handful of people get to see some kind of light in the gloom of their everyday life.
Moody seems to be willing to get away from any kind of judgment on the zombies' conditions, hence it becomes difficult to really feel disdain towards them. Rather, their evolving attitude becomes logical and, from them, less of a threat, more `acceptable'.
Overall, action is continuous and logical. The whole book is a real pleasure to read. It concludes with class and smoothness a fine trilogy of books that really deserves any reader's attention.
Autumn: Purification opens with a brief recap leading to the events narrated herein and thereafter, picks up almost immediately from where Autumn: The City left off. This had me ever so slightly worried since it would have been incredibly easy for Moody to take the path of least resistance and created a clone of the plot from Romero's Day of the Dead from this point. Thankfully, this is far from the case with Purification.
Moody continues to develop not only his characters and the undead in this third instalment of the Autumn series but the universe which they occupy also. The tone of the book, as with its predecessors, is suitably bleak and the focus is very much on the plight of the characters, the daily trials they suffer, how they cope with their own emotions and despair; and how much they have changed despite less than six weeks having passed since the cataclysmic event which wiped out the majority of the planet's population and the dead started to rise. At the same time, Moody pays attention to the degradation of the physical states of the walking dead, but Purification, as with the previous instalments in the Autumn series, sees the shambling corpses continue to evolve in a fashion that I can only imagine that other authors wish they had thought of first...
Although there is plenty of action, death and decaying flesh in this book and it is undoubtedly at home in the horror genre, it will leave those looking for an adrenaline-fuelled mindless zombie tale unsatisifed. I would submit to you that this is no bad thing. Autumn: Purification continues to flesh out Moody's Autumn universe admirably and although this book only runs to 260 or so pages and could be read as a stand alone title, I would suggest to any potential reader to do as I have done and read the series from the start since it has greatly enhanced my enjoyment of each of the books by taking them in sequence.
There's no need to take my word for it either, award-winning author Jonathan Maberry said of Autumn that: "This is smart fiction, written with style and insight. Not for the gore-hounds who can't think past a pile of entrails, but the rest of the readers in the world."
Taking into account my love of post-apocalyptica and how many books concering the sub-genre that I read, I can honestly say that Autumn has, to date, seriously impressed me and consistently hits the mark where so many other books fail and simply rely on gore and decay. In short, my advice to genre fans is simple. Get involved with the Autumn series as soon as possible. You won't regret it.