Elements of the Undead Omnibus
Books One-Three, Elements of The Undead - Books 1-3
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For a while, it seemed as if the good times would never end, that mankind had truly become masters of our own universe, gods in our own right.
Little did we know, our time was almost up.
No one knows where it started. No one knows why. By the time the scientists figured out what was happening, it was already too late. Most of humanity perished in the first few weeks, stricken down by a fast-moving infection, only to rise up as a zombie with an insatiable hunger for human flesh. Millions burned to ash when the military rained fire on the cities in a futile effort to halt the contagion. Millions more simply lay down and gave up, unable, or perhaps unwilling, to exist in a world no longer fit for human occupancy.
Despite all the death and destruction, there were survivors, brave men and women who stared into the face of annihilation and chose instead, to live. Together, they set about to rebuild civilization, to create something new and permanent out of the ruins of what came before.
This is their story...
This omnibus combines all three Elements of the Undead books in a single volume.
Hey I Just Met You, And This is Crazy, But Now You're a Zombie, So Please Don't Kill Me Maybe
The Elements of the Undead: Omnibus Edition contains all three books in the trilogy by William Esmont. Those three being Fire, Air and Earth. I'm going to explain a little bit about each one (without giving too much away) and then conclude with my thoughts on the series as a whole.
But first, a little background. The Elements of the Undead Trilogy is a horror series (though the horror is pretty tame considering the plot. I would call it more of a thriller/ adventure). A zombie apocalypse breaks out at the very beginning and we're brought along with the characters as they react and absorb all the information and struggle through each situation they're faced with.
I'll start by saying there are a few graphic scenes, such as zombies eating people or sex scenes, as well as course language. If that's not your cup of tea, you have been warned.
In book 1, Fire, we meet quite a few pivotal characters who, step by step, are brought together. First we have Megan Pritchard- a prostitute who works in a brothel in the desert, four hours outside of Vegas. She is planning to visit her sister in Tucson when the zombies start appearing.
Meanwhile, we have very brief snippets of Alicia (who is more of a secondary character if that), working in a supermarket, when she witnesses a zombie attack outside the store.
We then switch to Jack and his wife Becka in New Mexico, who have two twin daughters, Maddie and Ellie, who are in the process of building a birthday surprise for their girls, when Jack's mother calls telling him to look at the news.
Then there's Cesar, the illegal immigrant from Mexico, crossing the border with a few others into the States in the hope of making it to Kansas.
We then switch to Kevin Salerno, who has just landed in Idaho returning from a business trip to Shanghai.
Then along comes Captain Mike Pringle, flying a Boeing with his co-pilot Marty Sellers, when one of the passengers goes rogue and starts attacking people.
Switching again, we meet Peter Woo, a devout Christian who believes the apocalypse is the Rapture come again.
Finally, we meet US Navy Commander Betty Hollister, who is the first woman to ever command a ballistic nuclear missile submarine in the Navy and her second in command, Andrew Pollard as they receive a message from HQ to bomb certain cities in the US to try contain the zombie plague.
So you can see we have quite a few characters to keep switching between, but somehow the author makes it work. Bit by bit, we get brief, little snippets of each group before moving onto the next, slowly revealing more and leading them all, inevitably, to the same place. We are given more information about a few particular characters more than others. In the first book, I would say the key characters are Megan, Jack, Cesar and Hollister. With Mike, Peter and Andrew adding specific important plot points.
However, as you can imagine a lot of the characters (if not all of them) end up in sticky situations and we're not always given the details of how they manage to escape. For instance, hopefully this won't be a spoiler, but Mike is in the cockpit of the Boeing. The last thing we witness of him before he crops up again later in the story, is a zombie banging against the door trying to get in. They're 30,000 ft in the air. Yet, we never receive any explanation of how he survived or got to where he was. Or what happened to anyone else on the plane. This happens for a few characters, but it's understandably considering how many of them there are.
In this case, having that many characters actually works in the story's favour. Normally, I would say too many characters spoil the broth. They just make it confusing and distract from the main "flavours" you want people to experience. If done wrong, it can destroy a book, but if done right, like in these books, it creates the necessary viewpoints to get across the different reactions people would have and allows the author to mess with their brains the way it would in real life. Think about it, a zombie apocalypse breaks out. What are the odds everyone (providing they survive long enough) would keep their sanity. We all have a very different way of dealing with problems, especially one of this magnitude. Some people will harden up and become the nearest thing real life has to action heroes, some people will fold and lose their minds, some people with end it, rather than face the alternative. Those are just a few possibilities because the mind is so complex that you can never really predict how someone will adapt (if at all). That's where having a large cast plays to the trilogy's advantage. Not only can we get multiple reactions, but it also lets the author write some of the characters off without leaving too small of a cast behind.
Pretty much all of the individual stories happen simultaneously, giving us a view of many different parts in the States. We don't ever hear much about the rest of the world, all we know is that zombies are global and likewise situations are probably happening everywhere.
In Fire, we get some information about the zombies themselves. As pretty much anyone who has ever heard of a zombie knows, they can come in many different forms, with many different strengths. In this trilogy, we have simple, traditional zombies. They lumber along (with the exception of radiation-poisoned zombies (courtesy of all the bombs dropped on the States via Hollister's orders), who can sprint), are often missing limbs, organs or anything else, their vocabulary is restricted to moans and growls and you can only kill them with a headshot. They also travel in packs. Oh, and when food is scarce, they're cannibals.
While we're never given any concrete reason for zombies appearing out of nowhere, it is suspected that "zombiefication" happens from some kind of virus or disease. The victim starts off with symptoms similar to the flu and then quickly becomes aggressive, before converting to complete zombie. It's quick and deadly. It
- Level: Grades 8-17
- Category: Science Fiction
- Published: Aug 11, 2012
- Publisher: William Esmont
- Seller: Aaron William Cooke
- Print Length: 440 Pages
- Language: English
- Series: Books One-Three, Elements of The Undead