book review

So I just read Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? by Max Brallier and…

I really enjoyed this book, it was something different and a super fun read. I got this book a couple of years ago from my brother and maybe read it once and then never went back to it but I knew this time I wanted to keep reading till I got a good ending, that was a lot of fun! But before I get too deep into it and for this to make sense let’s talk about what the book is about.

Inside these pages lies unspeakable horror. Blood Splattering, brain-impaling, flesh-devouring horror. You’ve probably read your fair share of zombie stories. But this time it’s different. No longer can you sit idle as a bunch of fools make all the wrong moves. All hell is about to break loose—and YOU have a say in humanity’s survival. You have choices to make. Moral dilemmas. Strategic decisions. Weapons. Vehicles. Will you be a hero? Or will you cover your own ass at all costs? Can you withstand the coming hours, days, weeks, and months? Or will you die amidst the chaos and violence of a zombie uprising? Or, worst of all, will you become one of them? 

So what makes this book so interesting is it’s a choose your own adventure book, the kind of thing you would get in the 80s and 90s. I love this style of storytelling, I’m a huge D&D fan and I love roleplaying so this speaks deep to me. There’s up to 50 endings, some of them good, some of them bad and some of them just left out in the open. I won’t give spoilers but there was one particularly depressing ending. 

My plan when going into this book was to read till I got a good ending, honestly you could go on for days and days if you aren’t careful and I knew I wanted to get this post done by Saturday so I decided working towards a good ending would be a nice place to finish. This took me maybe 5 attempts and a lot of back peddling before I finally got a good ending. 

The book is really well written and every ending and strand I went down was so unique, some of them had abrupt endings and some were drawn out through 3 or 4 different options. I went back and chose different options when one led to a deadend but you can most definitely start from the very beginning all over again. This definitely made for faster reading and I got to live through some of the funner timelines and see it through to a happy ending. On top of this it all makes sense, there’s no disjointedness or jaring changes between one choice and the next. I was honestly shocked with how easily it flows. 

One thing I didn’t like, and it’s such a small insignificant thing, is that all the way through the book the main character is meant to be you. ‘You do this’. That’s fine and I kind of like it, it plays so wonderfully into the choices, but the main character is obviously a man. The book is written by Max Brallier so it’s understandable that Brallier would write a man but if this was just left to the choice of the player to imagine it would help so much! When running I use an app called Zombies, Run! It’s a little like a podcast in the fact that you’re listening to a running story with ongoing characters all set in the apocalypse. You play a character called Runner 5 and the whole thing is left extremely ambiguous and it works so well, this is something I think Brallier should have worked on doing himself. 

All in all I do think this is a pretty good book, it’s fun to read and really entertaining, I would 100% recommend picking up a copy. 


By this book here on Bookshop.org where I’m an affiliate.

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