In the ambiguously near future, a snap decision by a government official inadvertently sets in motion the destruction of mankind. Going Green chronicles the brief journey from infection to extinction through a series of short, interconnected stories, peppered with colorful commentary from both the skeptics and those just looking to survive.
Please note: The following is a lighthearted and satirical novella of approximately 23,000 words. It is not intended for use as a survival guide in the event of an actual zombie apocalypse.
I have enjoyed Christina’s books from the first time I read through her Rise of the Discordant series. Since then, I have hunted down and happily devoured her other works. Sadly, this one did not work for me. I think the reason is because it’s a melange of loosely related pieces that I can’t seem to quite figure out how they all tie together outside of the featured zombies. Most, if not all the pieces have no beginning and no end, which made it hard to follow as the scenes shifted from one to the next very abruptly.
There is a little world building, but not really enough to settle where the story bits are occurring. From the description, the when is deliberately left vague, though there’s enough detail provided in each of the settings to indicate a short hop into the future, and the specifics left vague enough the descriptions of technology that would otherwise date it will be relevant for many years to come. Some of the scenes are in a cityscape, others are in the suburbs, and I think one is clear out in the country. Don’t quote me on the last – I never could pin that one down.
Since the physical world is not well developed, I’d hoped the socioeconomic or political “world” would be sketched in – and once again, I found an amorphic blob without any of the detail I’m used to finding in Christina’s other work.
With each of the “chapters” being just a quick scene or two, there’s almost no character development. The players for the chapter are quickly sketched in – sometimes there’s enough to understand who’s doing what, other times the sketch is so brief about the best I could understand was that the featured character was someone affected, not affected, or a gender. As such, with the very brief time these characters had, a lot was left out. Especially for the scenes that had no definite end.
There was almost nothing to judge the pacing of the story against. Each chapter felt like a beginning, but there were no follow ups to go with. Several of the chapters felt like there was more to be said, but none of the story threads were ever revisited. The two threads that were revisited – one had a semi-ending given, the other was left with an unsatisfactory attempt at resolution.
Much as it pains me to say this, I cannot recommend this book to anyone. If you like short stories and/or flash fiction, perhaps – but with so many of the chapters having no beginning or ending, I think that the read would be less than satisfied. For those who enjoy longer works, the broken-never-concluded story line would leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
I do give props for a couple of the chapters – the unique take in one on what the zombies are, and the fact that in the given scenario sketched in during the first chapter these people may be more than the mindless husks so often portrayed in popular culture. I also give props to the idea that not all animals are affected the same way, which Christina does at least give a working nod to.
Sadly, the highest I can give the book is only a 2 of 5 stars – there’s just too much left wanting in the presentation for the read to sit well with me. Which is a shame, because I normally rave over McMullen’s work, and I feel as if I’m letting her down with a less than stellar review.
If you are curious and wish to read a sample, or purchase this book, it is available on Amazon here. Happy reading everyone!
If you enjoyed this book review, and wish for me to review one of your own books, please feel free to stop by my Offered Services page and send me a submission.