Review: “Harvest of Ruin,” Arthur Mongelli

Pros: Plenty of survivalism to track
Cons: Unlikable characters; plodding pace; repetitive TV style
Rating: 2 out of 5

Harvest Of Ruin: A Zombie Novel is another entry (by Arthur Mongelli) that focuses on survival and survivalism more than the zombies themselves. Sure, there are huge herds of the things just like on Walking Dead, but the bio-thriller side of things gets so glossed over that I think I won’t bother tagging it. There’s a college student, Will, who’s trying to get from New York back to his rural home, hoping it’ll be empty of zombies. There are two married couples with their kids–long-time friends–trying to get out of their city. And there’s a rural town trying to figure out why they’re getting so many cases out in the middle of nowhere. (Sort of. They mention trying to figure it out, but it isn’t a plot-driving source.)

This isn’t a short book, so the pure, constant tale of scavenging food, evading zombies, etc. gets very repetitive. It feels like a season of a TV show, except that in Walking Dead there’s more variety going on. In contrast, Harvest of Ruin feels plodding. It doesn’t help that the characters really aren’t very likable. In particular, the female characters are shrewish, shrieking harpies, or walking nipples for magically keeping babies quiet (this guy has a serious nipple fetish), or stupid, or likely to get themselves and others killed. This strikes me as having been written by the sort of person who has to keep defending himself as a ‘nice guy’. (Oh boy. Better ready myself for incoming.)

Although I didn’t see anything up front mentioning that this was first in a series, it is. I wouldn’t be interested in reading the next book; for you that’s something you’ll want to think about before deciding whether to read this one.

Note: Part-way through the book I posted on facebook:

The only good part of this book so far: the effect of collision-assist on trying to ram through a bundle of zombies.

Now that was hilarious!

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