Carrying on right from where we left the survivors back in Autumn: The City, Purification takes us further down the Zombie survival road. Pretty much imprisoned within the underground Army base this small group sit and wait while on the surface the crowd of shuffling corpses is growing in size every day, drawn there by the heat and the noise of the people hiding beneath their rotting feet.
Soon the sheer mass of decaying flesh causes problems with the air supply of the base and the soldiers are forced on a mission to clear the vents on the surface. This soon turns into a savage battle between the living and the dead, and there are far more of the dead.
I love how the Autumn novels manage to constantly evolve this apocalyptic tale, the zombies are continuously changing and this dynamic helps to keep the story fresh and the plot moving forward at a good pace. There is a superb amount of continuity to the whole series too and you get a real sense of living out the continued story that follows Michael, Emma and the other 35 survivors along this dark and dangerous path.
The way that the novel is structured means that each of these Autumn novels can quite easily be read as stand alone novels without feeling like you are missing out on too much, although I do recommend you read each one in order as they are just so much fun.
I liked the way that the author sticks with the survivors rather than following the path of the soldiers, creating a scenario that the average Joe can relate to much more effectively than those over-the-top gun totting novels that often permeate the genre. There is also a nice argument given finally over what could have happened to turn the world on it's head, although this is presented very much as here-say and not totally reliable (which provides the opportunity for other ideas further down the line).
This novel seems to really change the dynamics of the group much more than the previous 2 books while the ending is pretty much a game changer and really does make you hunger for the next in the series. It's a real credit to the author that he manages to keep the interest level pretty much catastrophic through-out the book with an energetic pace and some really tense scenes. Another excellent novel in a fantastic series and a must for any Zombie fans.
Written by Antony, 30 April 2012.