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Autumn: The City (2003)

by David Moody

Series: Autumn (2)

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2311387,183 (3.74)8
"A disease of unimaginable ferocity has torn across the face of the planet, leaving billions dead. A small group of survivors shelter in the remains of a devastated city, hiding in terror as the full effects of the horrific infection start to become clear. The sudden appearance of a company of soldiers again threatens the survivors' fragile existence. Do they bring with them hope, help, and answers, or more pain, fear, and suffering?"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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Autumn: The City - David Moody ****

The second book in the Autumn series follows on from where the first left off, however we are now introduced to a lot more of the survivors. In the first Autumn book the world has ground to a standstill following a disease that has killed 99.9% of the population, only for their decaying corpses to rise a few days later. Attracted by sound the cadavers group together in an attempt to reach survivors, however these aren’t the typical flesh craving Zombies, but are just as lethal due to their combined mass of numbers.

Once again, survivors have been finding each other and holing themselves up in apparently ‘safe’ buildings, we meet a number of varied new characters and learn of how they came to be where they are. A brilliant mismatch of all walks of life has been spared and obviously under the circumstances a lot of arguments and conflict arise. Deep underground there is a bunker where the army have been waiting since the first inception of the disease, unaware of what has happened above ground they venture out for a first look at the new world. The other survivors must choose between staying put in relative safety or seeking outside help, but will that help be forthcoming?

I suppose this could be read as a standalone novel, but I would recommend reading the first in the series for a lot more background information. Once again, if you are looking for a really well written and meaningful book, then this probably isn’t for you. At times the speech is a little wooden and repetitive and sometimes the characters actions are a little unbelievable (the Motorhome scene with Michael & Emma anyone?)But... if you want some fairly mindless zombie fun with a decent amount of tension, then give the series a try. I have just ordered the next book and already looking forward to it. ( )
  Bridgey | Jan 23, 2017 |
Autumn: The City by David Moody is the story of a small group of survivors after a deadly disease has infected the majority of the world's population. After an almost instantaneous death, people lay wherever they happened to fall. The few immune survivors huddled together and existed in total shock. But after two days things started to change. Some of the dead became reanimated, and then a day or so later these dead creatures appeared to be attracted to the living. At first the dead are mere husks but as time goes by they appear to be getting stronger.

This is the second book in David Moody's Autumn series and this volume tells a separate story from the first. The main characters from the first book eventually make an appearance, but not until partway through. This series takes a slightly different look at "zombies", as these dead creatures do not seem to want to rip humans apart and eat their flesh as much as they seem
to need to be near the living. Whether they are reaching out for help or in anger, they are dangerous as people can be crushed or smothered by their sheer numbers.

As this is the second book, there is still plenty of story left to be told, and I am interested in finding out what happens next. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Nov 14, 2016 |
A follow up to Autumn that continues the series. Another hard-to-put-down story in which a handful of survivors struggle against overwhelming numbers of living dead. I'm a fan and can't wait to get my hands on the next installment. ( )
  thejohnsmith | Sep 18, 2014 |
Just as the story suggests, this time Moody takes his Autumn series into a major urban center. As in Autumn, the first book in the series, 99% of the worlds population is suddenly struck dead through what I assume to be an air born virus. The survivors must first deal with the grief of knowing that everyone they know is dead and gone. Most choose to seek comfort in the familiar by staying in their homes, or in their places of business. Eventually, they are driven out either by a desperation to ascertain that they are not the last humans alive, or because they have become trapped by the newly dead who have become zombies.

Due it's location, Autumn The City lends itself to a larger cast, but once again, this does not include disabled people or GLBT people. One Asian man is at the shelter, and he does not speak any english. He is referenced once and quickly forgotten. His pain is told through the lens of a White survivor named Donna, and this further helps to remove his importance to the story. The absence of the historically marginalized people in a large urban center makes absolutely no sense and reads as a failure of imagination, as well as an inability on the part of Moody himself to confront his privilege. It's a terrible thing when one has the ability to create an entirely new world, and still cannot conceive of a way in which to include historically marginalized people. As I said in my review of Autumn, this is not unheard of in dystopian fantasy, but that fact does not make it anymore acceptable.

To ensure continuity between the two books, Michael and Emma are placed on the outskirts of the city seeking shelter in a Winnebago. Due to everything that they have survived together, a sort of dependency, and what I think would best be described as situational love occurs between the two of them. The one scene I did find disturbing, is when Michael decides to masturbate to the point of ejaculation, while holding Emma as she sleeps. She of course was only feigning sleeping, and tells him that his feelings are only natural. Uh huh, to me this sounds like a great way to skirt the issue of consent, as well as justification for using a woman as a masturbatory tool.

I am absolutely blown away by Moody's skill as a writer. From almost the first sentence, Autumn The City, though short - coming in at under 200 pages, is almost impossible to put down. The writing continues to be very stark, and yet we can feel the desperation of the survivors, as their only shelter becomes enclosed by dead. We can feel the fear that the world has come to the end, as a young mother jumps to her death after her baby, only minutes old, falls victim to the virus and dies. The survivors must consider whether or not to stay in the hospital, in which they have taken shelter, even though staying means risking being over run by zombies. There is also the issue that going out to find supplies, or even a new shelter, is still yet a risk. Is there any hope for these survivors? Can they fend of the depression that threatens to overwhelm them?

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  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 20, 2013 |
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For most of the last forty-eight hours Donna Yorke had hidden under a desk in the corner of the office where she'd worked since the summer.
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"A disease of unimaginable ferocity has torn across the face of the planet, leaving billions dead. A small group of survivors shelter in the remains of a devastated city, hiding in terror as the full effects of the horrific infection start to become clear. The sudden appearance of a company of soldiers again threatens the survivors' fragile existence. Do they bring with them hope, help, and answers, or more pain, fear, and suffering?"--P. [4] of cover.

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