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Autumn: The City. David Moody [Hardcover]



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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it's predecessor, but still a worthwhile read Dec 20 2005
By CreepyT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In David Moody's follow-up to the acclaimed zombie novel, Autumn, we are introduced to several new characters. Donna Yorke is an office worker who went in early on that fateful morning when all the world seemed to collapse into utter desolation. Paul Castle was also at work when everyone around him died horrible deaths. Jack Baxter was coming home from work when the apparent disease hit. After hiding out in his home for several days, he ventured out into the vastly changed city where he meets up with Clare, a young girl who helplessly sat and watched her father die and has endured alone on the street while watching the dead rise again. Meanwhile, Doctor Croft and several others have found some comfort and safety hiding within a university accommodation block.

Cooper is a member of the military who has spent weeks in a secret base, hidden from the goings-on of the outside world. When he is ordered to emerge from the base to obtain a status report along with several others, what he finds is more appalling than anyone from that tucked away sanctuary had surmised. When Cooper's military reconnaissance troop leaves him behind, he eventually meets up with the group living within the college dormitories and they all quickly turn to him for some semblance of hope.

However, Emma and Michael, from the previous novel, also make an appearance. Since leaving the farmhouse, the two have been on the run in a motor home, seeking safety. When they come across the military vehicles entering and exiting the nearby hidden base, they decide to find a way into the shelter. It should be noted that these two do not show up until almost halfway through the novel.

Though still just as intriguing as the previous novel, I found many parts to be rather slow. In addition, it was both interesting and tedious to read about the whole ordeal all over again. I found reading about the death and disease from different viewpoints to be a fascinating way to begin the novel. Yet, it also seemed rather redundant in many respects for those who have read the previous novel to have to re-hash the previous occurrences. That does, however, enable people who have not read the novels predecessor to pick up this book without having missed much at all. Furthermore, Moody's zombies don't seem to have evolved much more in this book than they had in the previous one. Throughout the first novel, the risen dead are in constant flux, becoming more and more attuned to their surroundings and evolving ever-so-slightly with each passing day. In Autumn: The City, there seems to be little progression in this respect. Autumn: The City doesn't take the opportunity to build very much off of the foundation laid by it's predecessor.

It should also be noted that this is not a series in which you will find lots of action and gore. The scares and drama found herein are much more subtle. However, that is not to say that these books are any less worthy of a read. They are simply geared less towards the in-your-face splatter horror audience.

Though I didn't find this novel as enthralling as the first, I will still go on to read Autumn: Purification. Despite some minor qualms, I still highly recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of zombie fiction.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite up to par with the first book. March 13 2007
By Robert Beveridge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
David Moody, Autumn: The City (Infected Books, 2003)

David Moody's Autumn Quartet continues on with The City, a book that starts out concurrently to Autumn. Don't expect to see your dysfunctional heroes from that book for a while, unfortunately; you've got a new crop of characters to think about here.

This is an ensemble piece, more than the last book was; there can't be said to be any real main character. There's a ragtag band of survivors who start off apart, mostly, but come together piece by piece. There's also a military installation who sally forth now and again to try and assess the situation, two of whose members get left behind during one mission. And, eventually, a few folks from the first novel show up, so we come full circle.

The book suffers a bit from middle-novel syndrome (Autumn was, remember, originally envisioned as a trilogy); we have new characters, but the basic situation is the same, and this isn't helped by the fact that we know what's in store for the first half or so of this book, having read the first novel. It picks up once the timeline merges with the end of the first book, and the ending was the strongest section of the book (it got me to pick up Purification immediately to find out what was coming next). So the series flags a bit, but a slow start leads to a strong finish. Don't give up halfway through. ***
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid zombie series, could use more bite Aug. 28 2006
By S. Keel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was a fan of the first Autumn book so I quickly bought this and the 3rd book Purification. I figured that the first book was basically a setup, a quiet before the real storm. Perhaps my expecations were too high for blood and gore and gruesome deaths because this series really isn't about all of that. Sure, its descriptive when it comes to the decaying zombies and what the world has become. But if you're looking for some Romero-style attacks, gore, killings, this series comes up a little short.

The City introduces us to some new characters since the first book, which is cool as you get to experience the zombie rising all over gain from completely different perspectives. Thankfully, our heroes from the fist book reappear, even if as a subplot.

What's good about City is the descriptive outlook of the city and the surrounding areas. Reading various people's reactions is interesting and things move at a solid pace.

What's not as good is that Moody loves to bog down the story in generic reactions (How many times can a character react the same, angry way to the situation?) and the story grinds to a halt at times as we wait for the characters who will fight to weed through all the whining and complaining of those who won't. Certainly its necessary to show all the reactions, but we got the point the first 7 times someone said "What's the point?"

If you enjoyed the first book, you're probably going to go for this one as well. And if you go that far, you'll want to find out what happens in Purification (a decent, if not thrilling, conclusion).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please, no. May 29 2012
By Pamela - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found the first book in this series to be strangely compelling, and I found this one for 3 bucks, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I wish I had not.

This book was extremely boring. The author went to great lengths to try to make the bodies appear threatening, but I did not buy it. The idea was that, individually the bodies were weak and easily knocked aside, but they were amassing in huge numbers, which made them a threat. The author explained in great detail (over, and over, and over, etc.) why they were amassing in such numbers and why that made them a threat. (Because they are attracted to noise and apparently living humans, simply by being alive, are noisy. They are also attracted to fire, apparently, which you'd think might help cull their numbers a bit, but I digress.)

I have this problem where I'm not really all that bad at math. I kept wondering where all the rest of the survivors were. If "over 98%" of the population was killed, that leaves somewhere between one and two percent of the population alive somewhere. Last time I checked, there were around 60 million people in Great Britain, not counting foreign students, tourists, migrant workers and the like. That means between 600,000 to 1,200,000 people would have survived. If almost a million people were scattered around the island, presumably at least some of the bodies would be attracted to each of them as well, because being alive is noisy.

After "over 98%" of the population dropped dead, "about 1/3" of them got up again and started shambling. That means there were about 20 million bodies wandering around, give or take. We are told that some of them were trapped in buildings or cars, some of them wandered off cliffs or into rivers or the ocean, some of them undoubtedly would have burned up in some of the numerous building fires. The three survivors ran over some of them with their cars in book one, and many more were run over by military vehicles and cars in this book. Also, many bodies are crushed and mutilated by the press of bodies behind them all trying to squeeze into the same place. Oh yeah, and they tear each other apart occasionally. Not to mention the "thousands" that were lured into a burning building by Donna, which was the only sensible thing anyone did in the story so far.

Presumably the bodies are not capable of reproducing in their quasi-dead state. Survivors do not even turn into roaming bodies if they are bitten (in fact, the bodies do not seem to bite. They simply try to grab you to death.) Also presumably, the other hundreds of thousands of survivors around the island would also be running them over with cars and whatnot. The numbers would have to be constantly dropping.

So, getting rid of them would be tedious to be sure, messy absolutely, but not really scary.

Obviously, I do not recommend this book. It made my head hurt.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A creepy and eeire zombie tale well worth reading July 28 2011
By Mark Chitty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I read the first Autumn book while on holiday last year at Centreparcs, a deserted woodland that was just about the perfect place to read it. I enjoyed it, perhaps not as much as I was hoping, but the way that David Moody told a bleak and eerie tale struck a chord with me and I knew that I would have to get around to the sequel when it came out. Well, out it came in January and here I am a few months down the line finally getting around to it! I may not have been in the same surrounding to read Autumn: The City, but not only did I enjoy it more than the first book, I found that it gave me more chills too. Not good while reading it during the early hours of the morning at home, alone...

Autumn: The City starts in much the same way as the first book, Autumn, although a short prologue shows that at least some people knew that it was coming as an army unit is ordered to move to a secure bunker, just making it inside in time. From there we follow a handful of people as others around them die suddenly and the world changes in an instant, with very few surviving the event. We see these individuals dealing with life in the aftermath, trying to survive and seek out other survivors, and finally grouping together at the local university. But the cadavers have changed and are no longer simply stumbling around, the new aggression they show can mean nothing good for the survivors. And then there is the army, coming out from its bunker to see what state the world is in, and finding it worse than even they imagined.

Unlike the first novel Moody doesn't take his time in exploring the death event and the immediate aftermath, from mass death to the re-animation of the corpses, in too great detail, but instead does all of this in a smoother and quicker fashion. We still get a good look at how these people are trying to cope and survive, but it isn't a day-by-day thing, more of a general look at their lives over a longer period - it works much better as it doesn't bog the story down in mundane and boring events. This has a knock-on effect to the story as Moody has covered the time period of the first novel by the time we reach the half-way point, and then we get into new and more interesting territory, seeing how the behaviour of the dead changes as more time passes. It also allows him to follow up on the fates of Michael and Emma from the first book who make a welcome return to the story, keeping that story thread going.

Other than these two returning characters there are quite a few more to follow. With a few dozen holed up at the university Moody is able to select those that we follow, and each brings something different to the story. Moody uses the characters to great effect in Autumn: The City, telling the story through their eyes and their reactions as things start to changed. It works well, but I didn't find that any particular character stood out for me, rather they all had interesting stories and acted in a way I would expect. I was slightly annoyed by the two young men who wanted to find a pub/club and have one final night on the town, but when the end of the world comes I'm sure there will be people like that about.

Story-wise there really isn't too much I could tell you that you won't have seen from lots of zombie movies that are out there, but Moody has a talent for making you feel part of events. The descriptions he uses can be chilling and eerie, completely vivid and all too real. The novel does end rather abruptly, and it's one of the main issues I had with it. Autumn was fairly self-contained, but this sequel is clearly written as part of a larger story, one I'm very much looking forward to reading.

Autumn: The City is a step up from the first book and a novel I very much enjoyed. While many zombie stories tend to follow a similar path David Moody has shown that just because the idea is old it doesn't mean it can't be re-told, and in this case with great success!

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