Review: Waiting For Daybreak by Amanda McNeil
Title: Waiting For Daybreak
Author: Amanda McNeil
Genre: Science Fiction
Pub. Year: 2012
I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb from Amazon:
What is normal?
Frieda has never felt normal. She feels every emotion too strongly and lashes out at herself in punishment. But one day when she stays home from work too depressed to get out of bed, a virus breaks out turning her neighbors into flesh-eating, brain-hungry zombies. As her survival instinct kicks in keeping her safe from the zombies, Frieda can’t help but wonder if she now counts as healthy and normal, or is she still abnormal compared to every other human being who is craving brains?
Random: If you are looking for a fast-paced zombie book, this isn’t it.
For a zombie book, it is very different in the genre. It stands out in the genre because it is not typical “Let’s run away from zombies” and that might be its downfall. It is atypical and so much of the book happens inside of the mind that even the zombies can’t bring an excitement to it. It is a psychological zombie book and this is the type of book where nothing happens for about 60% of the book (at least in my opinion), 60%-90% is somewhat interesting, and the final 10% is fantastic. At the same time, I really enjoyed the book.
The first half of the book is spent with Frieda just talking about her disorder, the day before the world descended into chaos and the new world with the Afflicted (Zombies). Nothing happens and I couldn’t help but wonder if the rest of the book was going to be about her ramblings. The only good thing in the first section of the book is that Frieda is a unique character. She claims to feel too much and ends up hurting herself in order to stop feeling. She paints herself as the psycho girlfriend because of her disorder (bipolar, I would say) but she is not too crazy, just depressed and a little crazy. It is interesting to see a zombie apocalypse from the mind of a mentally ill person. In a way there is certain disassociation with what is happening around her, she doesn’t care about the what is going on and her life didn’t change dramatically from before and after the apocalypse. She is still isolated emotionally and physically. Besides the threat of zombie of eating her, she is surprisingly well adjusted to her new world.
It is a zombie book because it has zombies but the zombies are really tame. Maybe that’s not the right way to describe it. There isn’t enough interactions with zombies to qualify the novel as an exciting, fast paced zombie book. There are some fast-paced actions scene but the zombies are secondary to the plot. The zombies play the role of questioning what normalcy means. They contribute to the mental instability of Frieda who has never considered herself normal before the infection. The zombies while dangerous to Frieda (because they want to eat her) are much more dangerous in terms of what they represent. It becomes apparent when Frieda meets another survivor who has a rather bleak view of humanity. It’s an interesting perspective that I enjoyed reading about. I still would have prefer her wondering about zombies to be broken up by intense zombie fighting. I’m just glad that the cat got sick (which is a horrible thing to say coming from a cat lover) because the action started with him.
At the end of the day, it’s much more about Frieda trying to find out what normal means in a world gone wrong instead of a zombie book. I believe that it is a fresh take on zombies in the fiction genre.
61st in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, Self-Published, Zombie, Dystopia, Science Fiction, Where are you reading?-Massachusetts