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Positive by David Wellington

A review by CJ Dee

Finnegan lives in a post-zombie-apocalypse world where communities live in walled cities and few of the second generation understand what life was like during the end of the world.

When Finn’s mother turns, he is marked as a positive. The disease can apparently take up to 20 years to incubate. So because Finn was breast-fed by his mother, he must remain in a medical camp for monitoring until his 21st birthday.

En route to be picked up by a military escort to the medical camp, Finn is attacked by a looter and defends himself. The ordeal leaves him stranded until he is picked up by another looter and his harem.

Throughout the journey Finn must face zombies, road pirates, death cults, famine and plague. Will he survive or will he become another victim in the zombie apocalypse?

The plot of Positive was good and had potential. Starting a new society in a zombie apocalypse isn’t particularly new, but the author twisted it just enough that it felt new.

Unfortunately, the writing and subsequent editing made it very difficult to stay focused on the plot. The book stands at 437 pages but could have been cut down substantially. It reads as long-winded, goes into far too much detail about minutiae, is repetitive and does a whole lot of telling when it should be showing. All of these factors make for a boring reading experience.

There were lots of great characters in Positive who felt real and were engaging. Unfortunately, the main protagonist Finn was not one of these. For a character who leads the narration with his first person perspective, Finn is a very flat character who elicited no emotional response throughout the novel.

Positive is a good story if you are willing to skim through lots of description through the eyes of a bland protagonist. If so then godspeed, dear reader. Godspeed.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 9780062315373
ISBN 10: 0062315374
Format: Paperback ARC, 437 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Positive cover

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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