Saturday, February 6, 2016

Novella Review: Everyone Dies at the End by Riley Westbrook

The cover, dat cover. I must say that I am a fan of it, although it's the type of cover that is pretty graphic and not quite suitable for all ages. Also, I would have loved to see some mushrooms growing on the rat for a more sinister look (I swear this makes sense in context).

Everyone Dies at the End is a zombie-apocalypse story that focuses on two parallel stories. One is a junkie who struggles to find his daily fix, and another is a group of people who struggle to survive in an isolated house. Since zombie stories tend to be overdone, I found myself more hooked on the junkie's story, as that was the more interesting story by far. He wasn't a good character by any means, just more interesting.

However, it's clear that this book needs some work. Certain details seemed to be rushed, including plot-critical ones. For example, the main character, Peter, drives to the house which is isolated from civilization. At least, I assume it is, because the house isn't described in any way for a really long time. The house also has a bunker. Six months later, the group leaves the bunker and heads for parts unknown, with no explanation why. I assume it was because they ran out of food, but having to establish these things would have been nice.

In addition, there are some questionable decisions made by the characters in this book. I can understand the junkie making the wrong choices due to his addiction, but the main group cooks meat outside, launch fireworks, hunt wildlife even after it is already established that wildlife is infected, and look for and eat mushrooms...even though mushrooms are sprouting out of the undead and would make me lose my appetite for fungus. None of these options seem the most safe.

Everyone Dies at the End is relatively short and could likely be finished in one sitting, so if you're looking for a zombie story this could be the one for you. There is a 'twist' ending in this novella which seems to hurt rather than help the narrative.

FINAL GRADE: 2 out of 5. Some good scenes here and there, particularly in the beginning from the junkie's character. I was hoping the two storylines would connect better in a meaningful way but unfortunately not. Lack of detail and strange character choices also really hurt this.

Everyone dies at the End can be found here.

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