This Dark Earth is a unique take on a post-apocalyptic zombie outbreak. The story starts with a viral outbreak that turns most humans into zombies like many books of this genre. But Jacobs goes one step further and incorporates a nuclear explosion (EMP) that turns the landscape into an even darker world, pulling the people back into medieval times. The story is told from a few different characters points of view with very differing personalities. Jacob’s style allows the reader to experience the inner thoughts of the characters, adding to the suspense. The plot is very character-driven, and left me turning the page to see what they would do next to survive the harsh new land they found themselves in. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a new take on the post-apocalyptic world.
Lucy, Gus, and Knockout survived the initial outbreak of a virus that turned people into zombies. They have a very low life expectancy due to the ravaging hordes of zombies patrolling the landscape and cancer caused by the nuclear fallout after the many detonations over the US and the rest of the world. Four years later, the survivors of the newly formed town, “Bridge City,” designed by a ten year old boy Gus, get another potentially deadly threat: slavers are coming to take all that they have built.
The land is contaminated, electronics are defunct, the ravenous undead remain, and life has fallen into a nasty and brutish state of nature. Welcome to Bridge City, in what was once Arkansas: part medieval fortress, part Western outpost, and the precarious last stand for civilization. A ten-year-old prodigy when the world ended, Gus is now a battle-hardened young man. He designed Bridge City to protect the living few from the shamblers eternally at the gates. Now he's being groomed by his physician mother, Lucy, and the gentle giant Knock-Out to become the next leader of men. But an army of slavers is on its way, and the war they'll wage for the city's resources could mean the end of mankind as we know it.
Can Gus become humanity's savior? And if so, will it mean becoming a dictator, a martyr . . . or maybe something far worse than even the zombies that plague the land?