The latest novel by David Wellington is an improvement over his earlier efforts in the horror genre—13 Bullets or the earlier zombie apocalypse Monster trilogy (Monster Island, Monster Nation, and Monster Planet). Always a quick, fun, and scary read, Wellington’s latest is both longer and the main characters somewhat better developed.
Positive begins in New York City following a zombie virus that infected approximately 99% of the population. New York is relatively safe after 20 years of zombie extermination by the army and civilians, but the population is less than 5,000 in Manhattan. Finn and his best friend Ike are involved in searching for food, and through a series of events, it is revealed that one is possibly infected. The virus has a 20-year incubation period, and people who have it are branded with a huge plus sign on their right hand and sent to a government internment camp in Ohio. Finn is unlucky enough to have his government ride destroyed and has to begin working his way across country, which involves avoiding zombies, cannibals, slavers or road pirates, and an army that doesn’t take kindly to “positives,” as they are known. Along the way, he runs with looters (unwillingly and to rescue others) and begins a long-term feud with the leader of a looter gang that is the overall thread in the story. The book covers his travels through New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
Positive contains some hints of Stephen King's The Stand and Robert McCammon's Swan Song, as well as The Road Warrior. All in all, a fun read for zombie and post-apocalyptic fiction fans.
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