This Is How It Ends (Deadworld #1)

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Title: This Is How It Ends (Deadworld #1)
Author: Nick Wilgus
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Genre(s): Post Apocalyptic, Horror, Zombies, Young Adult
Page Count: 301
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

High school juniors Billy Gunn and Rory Wilder return from a weekend camping trip to find a mysterious plague has wiped out their small town of Port Moss, Mississippi. The question of why is only the beginning—especially when the dead refuse to stay dead.

Figuring out what happened is job one for Billy and Rory. But complications quickly set in. Not only do the dead rise, but a freak storm threatens torrential downpours as winter looms. And enormous ships appear in the sky, bringing with them alien visitors with technology never seen before.

Left without electricity and modern conveniences, Billy and Rory must figure out a way to navigate horrific zombies, advanced alien life forms, and apocalyptic storms, as well as deal with their growing love for each other in a world gone mad.

I wanted to read this book not because of its genre, but because of its author. I always enjoyed Nick Wilgus’s books and I know that he can write a beautiful, emotional, heartbreaking story – Sugar Tree series – as well as a good murder mystery – Boy Crucified (that has been published under another pen name). So yes, Nick Wilgus is without any doubt a talented writer and I trusted his writing skills to win me over to a zombie apocalypse genre and to provide an excitingly gripping and entertaining plot, that would keep up the suspense to the very last second and keep me on the edge of my seat.

And Nick Wilgus didn’t disappointed me. Deadworld #1 is a real page-turner. The decision to split the story in many chapters was the right one, IMO. Short chapters became a winner for a story pacing, they reminded me of quick timed scene changes in a movie and kept the plot highly dynamic.

Even if you, like me, do not belong to the fans of zombie apocalypse books, you still HAVE to know that they all use, at a rough estimate, the following formula: Something triggers a humanitarian catastrophe and the greater part of mankind turns into zombies and another part, that’s usually significantly smaller, tries to survive and saves the future of humanity. It is exactly what happens here. Two friends go camping over a weekend and when they are back, everything is suddenly not how it was in their small town Port Moss, Mississippi.

The good thing: they do not hate each other, just the opposite. However, Rory, who has been raised in a religious family, has big problems with accepting his own gay “I”. In contrast to Billy Gunn, a first POV narrator.

There are normally more than one way to create zombies but, judging on numerous TV series and movies, a mysterious virus remains the most popular scenario. Nick Wilgus chosen another way – his zombies are made by aliens. (Oh yes, it’s a bit more complicated here.)

It is why our guys have to run for their lives not only from deadheads but also from the aliens that look like octopuses and use human dead bodies for their reproduction.

In addition, as if already not enough, the weather goes completely crazy, making their escape from the city even more difficult.

Their small survivors team will grow up as the story goes further, because not all members of human civilization turned into deadheads. Of course, you can just ignore the Rory’s theory of God’s punishment.

We do not have to like all characters to enjoy the book, but I had VERY serious problems with Rory and his exaggerated religiousness. On one page he acted like a smart and sympathetic guy whom I started slowly to like, on the next page he became again his usual dumbass. I am pretty sure that he’ll play an important role in the whole story, not only as Billy’s lover, and maybe it was a carefully thought out move, to make him VERY unpleasant at the beginning of the series, but change his character in the coming sequels, but here I just couldn’t understand WHY Billy fell in love with him.

My main problem here was the direction that the story suddenly took towards the end.

There WERE adults here – and there will be ADULTS later, I’m sure, but at the end of the first book Rory and Billy, high school juniors, remained the oldest PEOPLE in their survival team. They are 15 years old and in my eyes, they are kids, even if the circumstances forced them to grow up QUICKLY. That was not my issue. But THEM talking about two daddies and partners and family building with 3 other kids, that were not much younger than Rory and Billy, was for me personally a kinda turn off.
But it doesn’t mean that you’ll have the same problem here. Maybe it is exactly what makes the whole book more appealing and thrilling to you.

The first book left many unanswered questions in regard of the process of transformation. Why and how and why not all of the human beings turned into zombies. But it is the first book of a new series, and the author has to keep some secrets back.

All in all, I think it was a good start for a new interesting series, and I’m sure that readers will get many surprises in the coming installments.

Recommended in the first place for all fans of YA and Post Apocalyptic Genres.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of This Is How It Ends provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

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