I received 100 Days in Deadland by Rachel Aukes from the author as an ARC so that I could write a review.
Confession: I'm not much for horror. While I did enjoy 100 Days in Deadland, it was pretty gruesome and gory and I did find myself cringing repeatedly as I read it. Having said that, Aukes writes fighting scenes and paints a truly vivid picture of life during a zombie apocalypse which is good from the stand point of the writing but bad if you aren't into that imagery.
Clutch and Cash were actually really relatable characters, which I hadn't really expected. Perhaps it's because I am so close to the Pentagon and see the returning soldiers all the time that Clutch seemed like a lot of men I've met who have been through war. He was both protective and paranoid - a seemingly strange combination but one that worked well. Cash was your typical urban office worker until the infestation. Then her spine of steel and her sheer determination allowed her to survive while others fell. Cash was the embodiment of sheer human survival instinct.
Jasen was a really nice addition to the main set of characters. Just a teenager, he learned quickly and had a way of lifting the spirits and attitudes of others around him that kept 100 Days in Deadland from becoming too morose and depressing. A few other supporting characters also contributed to the overall "feel" of the book in the same way.
It's difficult to write a review for 100 Days in Deadland without giving away the ending so I'll say, it is well-written, well-paced, with characters that are interesting and easy to empathize with and the "monster" is something just plausible enough to freak out most readers. Honestly, after reading 100 Days in Deadland, I'm wondering if I should become a prepper!
The world ended on a Thursday.
In one day, the world succumbed to a pestilence that decimated the living. In its place rose a new species: vicious, gruesome, wandering zombies with an insatiable hunger for the living. There is no government, no shelter.
Still in her twenties, Cash has watched her friends die, only to walk again. An office worker with few survival skills, she joins up with Clutch, a grizzled Army veteran with PTSD. Together, they flee the city and struggle through the nine circles of hell, with nothing but Clutch's military experience and Cash's determination to kill scrum. As they fight to survive in the zombie inferno, they quickly discover that nowhere is safe from the undead...or the living.
This is the beginning after the end.