Dust Eaters North

Ronan Cray. Abrasax, $14.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-0-9912555-3-5
In the first book of the Compass series, Cray attempts to avoid the well-trodden path of the first-person zombie shooter. In the main, the effort is a success. Tara is a typical apocalypse survivor who must endure the consequences of her own choices during the breakdown of society as undead Eaters take over the world. Forced to flee her home and travel with a small group of other survivors, she clings to the hope of finding a new life in the distant north. Each new chapter bring the perspective of a different survivor as Cray highlights the cruel reality of his nightmare journey, which renders Tara’s companions devoid of virtue. They are sustained only by cunning and luck. Each violent act strips away what had made them people until death becomes the only escape. With nowhere to run, hope is a poison that only makes destruction a mercy. And yet those hopes become the sweetness that makes the story an adventure rather than an endless forced march through a killing field. The resolution, though horrifying, feels as earned as it is heartbreaking. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/2016
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