If you read as many zombie novels as I do, you may have come to an unsettling conclusion. The more books that are written and published on the subject the lower the quality of the stories become. Very few novels in the Zombie Genre can compete with the holy book of Zombie Literature, World War Z by Max Brooks (My review for which can be found here:https://jhame085.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/world-war-z-by-max-brooks/). This may be because I get all my zombie books off of Amazon Kindle and their standards are lower or maybe it’s because I’ve read so many that they’re all blurring together. I desperately hope the latter is not the case because I genuinely love this genre and I don’t want it to get boring for me. Either way I was pleasantly surprised after reading the White Flag of the Dead series of books as the author, Joseph Talluto made an obvious effort at showing a new aspect of the genre and he thankfully succeeded.
The story starts out as most zombie stories generally do, with an unknown virus causing the dead to rise along with the usual fall of society thing. This part of a zombie story is my favorite for I enjoy seeing how different authors see the civil and military authorities handling the rising of the dead. This aspect of White Flag is somewhat brief, only a few chapters, but the way Talluto portrays it is very realistic and believable. The aspect of this series I loved the most, however, is that all the books take place after the fall of civilization and portrays the broken pockets of humanity slowly adapting to the zombie plague and eventually joining together to reorganize and rebuild a semblance of life before the fall. Now, the way humanity rebuilds in the White Flag series is very different from how humanity rebuilds in World War Z. While large areas around the surviving pockets are cleared and pacified numerous zombies still room the land, mostly around former cities. Also, most populated towns and villages are surrounded by either walls, fences or moats. Further technology is on a more late 19th-early 20th century level rather than on the modern level portrayed in World War Z. Something I found amazing was that a somewhat organized USA is reborn a number of years after the original fell apart. I say somewhat, for while the government is more or less the same as the real life US, the fact that there are large spaces between populated towns that governing the new country is more like how the country was run in the days of the Pony Express.
The story follows the actions of John Tallon a former school principal and all around bad ass as he strives to keep his new born son safe in this new and terrifying world. As he defends his son he inadvertently becomes the catalyst for the surviving pockets of humanity to rally behind and reorganize themselves. Later in the series he becomes a folk hero to the survivors, something akin to a combination of George Washington mixed with some Tom Henry and Paul Bunyan. At times some of the things he does seem more than a real life person could actually do, but this really doesn’t detract from the overall realism and excitement of the story.
This series was a very fun and interesting read. I readily suggest it to fans of this genre that I really hope is not decomposing with time (Get it? Because zombies decompose! Haha!)
The books in the Series are:
White Flag of the Dead
Taking it Back
America the Dead
United States of the Dead
Last Stand of the Dead