Book Review: The Undying


Title: The Undying

Author: Ethan Reid

Genre: Horror/Zombies/Apocalyptic/Thriller

In this riveting apocalyptic thriller for fans of The Passage and The Walking Dead, a mysterious event plunges Paris into darkness and a young American must lead her friends to safety—and escape the ravenous “undying” who now roam the crumbling city.

Jeanie and Ben arrive in Paris just in time for a festive New Year’s Eve celebration with local friends. They eat and drink and carry on until suddenly, at midnight, all the lights go out. Everywhere they look, buildings and streets are dark, as though the legendary Parisian revelry has somehow short circuited the entire city.

By the next morning, all hell has broken loose. Fireballs rain down from the sky, the temperatures are rising, and people run screaming through the streets. Whatever has happened in Paris—rumors are of a comet striking the earth—Jeanie and Ben have no way of knowing how far it has spread, or how much worse it will get. As they attempt to flee the burning Latin Quarter—a harrowing journey that takes them across the city, descending deep into the catacombs, and eventually to a makeshift barracks at the Louvre Museum—Jeanie knows the worst is yet to come. So far, only she has witnessed pale, vampiric survivors who seem to exert a powerful hold on her whenever she catches them in her sights.

These cunning, ravenous beings will come to be known as les moribund—the undying—and their numbers increase by the hour. When fate places a newborn boy in her care, Jeanie will stop at nothing to keep the infant safe and get out of Paris—even if it means facing off against the moribund and leaving Ben—and any hope of rescue—behind.

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The Undying is a good novel to get your toes wet if you’re thinking about reading zombie/apocalypse novels. It’s realistic qualities and just right gruesome details are great for readers that are on the fence about the genre.

The story follows a young woman by the name of Jeanie. She just lost her father and the best way to move on or shall I say help in decreasing her depression is nothing other than a trip to visit a friend that was once a foreign exchange student that lived with her and her parents, Zou Zou in Paris. The trip is supposed to help the two girls cope with their losses and gain some happiness back. Jeanie invites her best friend, her rock Ben along. The trip was supposed to be full of drinking, partying, and sightseeing, but on the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, things took a turn for the worse.

An EMP hits and everything that’s ‘plugged in’ all technology pretty much is gone. Rocks begin falling from the sky destroying everything in its path. No one why this is happening or where it all started. Jeanie worries for her mother back at home in Seattle…Ben worries about getting the hell out of the country and back to the U.S. After meeting another American in the lobby of their hotel, their survival is on a time frame. He offered an explanation, a warning of what could come of the future. He also tells her about his wife being at the hospital in labor. With Jeanie feeling a blame for not being there for her father when he was dying, this newborn…potentially orphan child sticks with her throughout their journey.

A great journey it was, Jeanie and Ben set out to find Zou Zou and all the other friends that they met last night. But nothing ever goes as planned. People die, people get separated, people run away afraid of reality, and there is nothing worse than taking care of an orphaned newborn during an apocalypse.

With hope to reach the Embassy or a place where they believe a signal was sent via an old time radio, they come across more than just nasty, crazy humans. They come across albino…things, not quite zombie not quite vampire, and hungry for life.

Their relationships take a toll, self-preservation and helping those that are helpless separate some characters, while it also brings other characters together. There are parts of a romance within the pages, but tears will be shed. It leaves you with faces being ripped off to being heartbroken seconds later.

When they reach the landmark that they believe holds answers, it turns out to be a great sacrifice instead. The realization of the refugees and these camps are very realistic. The theories and leaders doing what they believe –their own agenda- or not is very real and that is what makes you really think about…what if?

The depth of the characters are detailed out to great extent. Each characters emotions and development helps them be relatable. These people resemble people that could actually be your friends. The scenery and plot line is convincing. I’ve never been to Paris, but you visit all the popular landmarks within The Undying…they might be collapsed or on fire, but the experiences are real.

The only thing that hindered my reading is that some parts were in French. Yes, I realize that this is based in Paris, but it paused my reading because I’m French illiterate. Otherwise, a great read.

4 stars

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