On April 1, the world as most people knew it came to a violent and bloody end. A virus related to the rabies virus somehow spread worldwide in a matter of weeks and infected millions, turning them into ravenous, flesh-eating zombies. Their victims also became zombies, and the world’s cities were turned into charnel houses, with only pockets of uninfected survivors, such as Carl Stiller, hanging on for dear life against what appear to be insurmountable odds.
One small group, 107 passengers on Scott Allen’s luxury cruise ship, Sovereign Spirit, a thousand miles off the Pacific Coast and heading for Cabo San Lucas when Armageddon struck, is untouched by the virus. Under Allen’s leadership, the group must find a way to survive the epidemic and contend with the surviving government bureaucracy.
If you’re a fan of zombie apocalypse stories, you’ll love Voyage of the Dead by David P. Forsyth. Filled with action and suspense, the story switches back and forth between Carl Stiller’s efforts to survive in a besieged Los Angeles and Scott Allen’s attempt to retain control and order aboard his vessel. The author paints a chilling picture of human society in the midst of crisis, with fairly fully-fleshed characters as they deal with life-or-death situations. The premise, that a virus could spread globally in a short period of time, but somehow skip a ship at sea, is a bit light – but, probably no different than the zombie movies that fail to explain how so many people in an area become zombies while others are uninfected. In that sense, the book is more thriller than science fiction – despite a pretty good use of modern day technology and social media.
The reader is left hanging a bit at the end – but, this is supposedly the first book in a series, so perhaps the author used a semi-cliffhanger ending to entice people to read the next volume. It was still a relatively satisfying read, so I give it three stars.