A teen concert goes horribly awry when a shocking zombie virus is unleashed, and one teenage girl must lead her friends towards safety with only a pizza cutter as a weapon. Can the teens survive the zombie apocalypse? Find out in author Mary Hallberg’s State of Emergency. Here’s the synopsis:
17-year-old Dallas Langdon is fighting off zombies with a pizza cutter.
Dallas has always loved zombie movies. But when she catches a real live (erm, dead) musician eating a man’s intestines backstage after the show, she knows her movies have become a reality. And what do characters in zombie movies do? Seek shelter. Fortunately, Dallas’s eccentric uncle owns a farmhouse in Chattanooga, an eight hour drive from New Orleans. It’s on top of a steep mountain, surrounded by electric fences, and cut off from the worlds of the living and the dead.
Dallas’s parents, still safe at home, laugh at her idea over the phone. Her friends only agree to join her because it’s fall break and they could use a mini vacation anyway.
But then Dallas’s best friend is killed by a zombie horde when they’re attracted to her ringing cell phone. Civilians think their reanimated loved ones simply have the flu, leaving them alive (well, undead) and rapidly increasing the zombies ranks. And since minors can’t buy guns, Dallas’s only weapon is a giant industrial pizza cutter she swipes from a gas station. George A. Romero never mentioned anything like this. With one friend dead and no zombie survival guides to help her, Dallas and her friends must get to Chattanooga before joining the ranks of the undead themselves.
This was a quick yet action packed read. Think of it like the Walking Dead meets the Young Adult genre, and you’ll get an idea of what State of Emergency is all about. The book was very well written, with a memorable group of characters and a unique take on the zombie apocalypse narrative. What really drew me into the story was the fact that unlike most books or movies, the story focused on the beginning of the outbreak rather than a world already ravaged by the virus. It did an excellent job of showcasing how people react differently to the events of the novel. Some communities are oblivious to the virus, while others are ravaged by the horrors of the undead. It reminded me a little bit of Stephen King’s The Stand, which the first few hundred pages focused on the virus that left most of the world dead, (except this had way more zombies and less good vs. evil stories).
Overall this was a wonderful read. Full of a complicated narrative that explores the beginning of the zombie apocalypse from a teenagers point of view, the story is relatable and full of heart that fans of both zombie stories and YA fans will connect with instantly. This is a book not to miss, so be sure to pick up your copies of State of Emergency by Mary Hallberg today!