Written by J.L. Bourne around 2004 as an online writing gig, Day By Day Armageddon soon became popular enough that it ended up being published into a book around 2007. I remember a co-worker of mine at the time reading it with this cover below . . .
When he was finished he sent the book my way. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was intensely good.
The story follows the journal entries of a young unnamed protagonist with a military background. Within the entries the protagonist writes of a disease outbreak in China that he has been hearing about over the news. And you can more than likely guess where the story goes from there. It is the start of a zombie uprising and the dead shortly makes their way to the United States! Now, while none of this is anything that we haven't seen a million times in zombie related movies, TV shows or books, it is how the story plays out that makes this an original and enjoyable read.
When the outbreak makes its way to America and the dead start rising all contact from the media, internet, and what not are shutdown by the government. Our protagonist isn't aware that there are hordes of rotten flesh eaters growing in population. He boards up his house to protect it from looters. When they start showing up in his neck of the woods he and John (a neighbor up the road) band together and realize that they have to make a plan soon to get out of their makeshift fortress or risk being overrun by the zombies also!
What I like the most about "Day by Day Armageddon" and its sequel "Beyond Exile" is that from reading the entries in the book you feel like you are a part of it. Everything is written after the fact so sometimes he'll go days without an entry, but when he does he always catches you up to speed and most of the time that is why you haven't heard from him. D.B.D.A. has somewhat of a "Dawn of the Dead" feel since the survivors go from town to town trying to find suitable living conditions and the book even has a raid by mercenaries towards the end! When I first finished reading the book I hoped that they would put out a follow up and even though it took a few years it was well worth the wait.
The book "Beyond Exile" picks up right where part one ends and goes even further in exploring this new ravaged world that has been overtaken by the Living Dead.
Beyond Exile is more like "Day of the Dead" because they use an abandoned military base as their headquarters and spend more time trying to figure out if there are any safe ways to stop the spreading virus and also if it is worth risking going out of the bunker to save more lives that are possibly hiding out nearby. And what of their limited food supplies?
In this second book we learn the protagonist's name (I won't spoil it for you) and also learn of a mission to China the government is putting together that has something to due with finding the possible cure to the outbreak!
Both books are available separately or together in the collection "Day by Day Armageddon: Origin to Exile" which is only $7.50 on Amazon.com
This October a 3rd Book called "Shattered Hourglass" is on it's way!
After the re-reading the end of part two for this post I am super excited to see where that takes the characters I've grown to love!
- Tom Bryce