Author: Frank Tayell
Released: May 17th 2018
It’s almost hard to believe that Surviving the Evacuation has already hit thirteen books (well, fourteen, actually, I’m one behind as of writing this review). Not to mention the spin-off series he has, which I think is three of four books long. You’d think that Tayell would have run out of things for his characters to do at this point, and you’d be wrong.
If you haven’t read any of Tayell’s books, you absolutely should go back to the beginning and read through them, especially before reading this book or review. A lot of the backstory wouldn’t make sense, and you wouldn’t know the characters that well either.
Future’s Beginning covers a mere three days, yet it feels like a year. Not because it drags on, but because the characters have to deal with so much, and in such a short period of time. I do not envy the situation any of them are in, to say the least.
No warning for this book, besides the obvious (there are zombies, people get bit and killed, it’s a given), but I did want to say that the cat is okay. I sort of freaked at the introduction of the cat, and got worried every time she was brought up. So I’m going to save you some anxiety and say that as of the end of this book, she’s fine (and I haven’t read beyond this point, so my not being able to say more is not a spoiler).
I love how Tayell breaks his books into such short time periods. It allows for a ton of detail, focusing on individual characters and locations, and not having to skim over the day to day battle for survival. I feel like this is something a lot of zombie series tend to overlook, and it’s also probably the reason why I love this series so much.
It does feel like every book makes the situation more dire than the last. First it was the zombie apocalypse, then it was humans nuking other humans, followed by betrayal, mass murder, espionage, sabotage, more mass murder, and so on and so forth. I’m not sure if we’re going to see that pattern changing anytime soon, but it would be nice to see everybody get a large win for once. Sure, they have their small moments of victory, and even some major ones…but those ones never seem to stick. I feel like there’s something big and bright over the horizon…but that may just be wishful thinking.
This book focuses solely on the events happening in Belfast and Dundalk. Those are two of the new settlements. Well, sort of. One wasn’t exactly intended, but it’s working for now. The other one was planned, but it’s been clear since the last book that it wouldn’t work out. We haven’t gotten an update on Will, the rest of the people on the plane, or the fishing fleet in quite some time. One can only hope that they’re doing fine.
I was surprised by the turn of events in a couple of points, though maybe I shouldn’t have been. Tayell did a fantastic job with the buildup, especially with Sholto’s plot. I would have happily had that be the entire focus of the book, though it was nice to get the updates on what was happening in the other settlement as well, of course.
Naturally there was a lot of fighting in this book, what with all the zombies. There was also some human on human fighting, some more betrayal, political maneuvering, and the like. All things I’ve come to expect, especially when Sholto is around.