Day by Day Armageddon: Origin to Exile By J.L. Bourne Paperback | Kindle
Release date: September 27, 2011
Day by Day Armageddon: Origin to Exile is the terrifying zombie masterpiece by J.L. Bourne (you can watch the book trailer below). The book contains two novels, Day by Day Armageddon and Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile, plus the short story If You Can Read This. Both novels are chilling journal entries that begin as a result of one Naval officer’s New Year’s resolution just before a mystifying plague abruptly ends the world as we know it. The journal becomes the narrator’s salvation and point of reference as day by day he tries to survive the madness that unfolds before him.
From minute to minute, life and death decisions must be made, mostly on his own but sometimes with help and, at times, hindrance from fellow survivors he meets along the way. The journalized format made for a very up close and personal account of the urgency of his mission to stay alive in a world overrun by the undead. The direness of every pursuit of the most basic provisions, like safe shelter, edible food, drinkable water – and, oh yeah, ammo and lots of it – truly got under my skin. The lucky breaks were nearly equal in intensity and number to the most unfortunate turns of fate in a violent emotional back and forth. I don’t think I fully exhaled until I’d run out of pages to read.
Intense and riveting, I found myself constantly thinking about this guy, this soldier just trying to survive against the odds, against the onslaught of these dead predators, even when I wasn’t reading. It’s not a normal thing for me to be absorbed almost to the point of obsession, but this book is extreme, visceral, and very well written. It forced me to contemplate what I might do if I suddenly woke up in a world like J.L. Bourne’s apocalypse where the 99% are walking dead and the surviving 1% are lucky and smart, not wealthy, which wouldn’t make a shit’s difference anyway. Important to know: undead is bad, but radioactive undead is exponentially worse; add a Geiger counter to your survival pack.
If You Can Read This, the short story at the end, tells a tale of infection from the point of view of one of the zombies our soldier must put down along the way, one of the few that pokes a bit at his psyche. As a reader, I appreciated the difference in perspective, which was just as heart stopping as our soldier’s personal account and maybe even a bit more, as they were just kids thrown into a situation for which they were ill prepared to deal. It was frightening and truly sad.
Interesting to note, the Day by Day Armageddon series began as an online-only story in 2004 and became so popular, Bourne self-published the story. Simon and Schuster’s Gallery Books then published Day by Day Armageddon in 2009.
J.L. Bourne knows the mind of a soldier because he is one in real life, which makes this book all the more fascinating to read. He’s a guy you’d want to hook up with when the shit hits the fan because he knows a thing or two about guns, survival techniques, and the all-important chain of command that must be re-established when forming a new society from the ashes of the old.
Lots of loose ends were left in Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile that I’m hoping will eventually be tied up in Bourne’s forthcoming novel, Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass, slated to be published in 2012. Visit the author’s site at jlbourne.com and be sure to watch the book trailer below.