book review, horror

After the Change by Michael J Moore

The psychological complexity of the characters elevates this apocalyptic young adult horror novel above the usual fare.

Fifteen year old band mates, Diego, Cali and Wes have managed to last six months after most of humanity simultaneously transformed into deranged, murderous cannibals. Fed up with constantly running, Wes plans on settling somewhere and rebuilding society. Their efforts bring them into close contact with other survivors. Pitted against older, meaner and more heavily armed adversaries, do three teenagers stand a chance?

There is plenty of action in this novel to satisfy fans of the genre. While the Changed are not dead, and are therefore not zombies, they are in no way less threatening than the shambling deceased, and the author captures the tension and terror that avoiding them, or encountering, them elicits.

If you’ve read or seen one post apocalyptic story, you know that the most dangerous creature after the fall of civilization is the same as the one before it, that is man, and that trope is well and truly utilized in this novel. However, Moore writes so well and provides a new look into familiar faces that the different groups the teenagers meet appear shiny and new.

Told from the point of view of Diego, a slow talking but quick thinking young fellow, the author subtly plants seeds of doubt about the other characters that Diego observes but doesn’t see. This, combined with Diego’s own intelligence and deep thoughts, provides layers to the characters that isn’t often seen in post apocalyptic works.

But wait – there’s more! Raised by missionaries, Diego thinks of the Changed as soulless, one of the many references to God and religion that are lightly sprinkled throughout the book. Is God included for realism, or perhaps hinting at something more? Either way, I found it added further depth to the characters and the world, and I’ve been picking up symbolic breadcrumbs hoping that they will pay off in the next book.

Unfortunately, the only downside to this novel is that it is the first in a series. While it ends satisfactorily, I cried out when I reached the end of the book and found that all my questions had not been answered. Even worse, I will have to wait before I can read the follow up, although the tantalizing first chapter of the sequel is included at the end of the book.

I award After the Change...

After the Change is available for $2.91 ebook and $14.99 print book on Amazon.

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Read my review of Michael J Moore’s horror novel, Highway Twenty.

7 thoughts on “After the Change by Michael J Moore”

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