Author: Jim Beck
Publisher: Black Rooster Creations
Point of Sale: Amazon
Reviewed By: Cheryl Anne Gardner
I don't read many zombie stories unless they have some profound socio-political edge to them or are just plain different. Last one I read was Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist, which was brilliant. In most zombie stories, the zombies are more or less irrelevant, a nuisance to be dealt with so we can focus on the real story, which is about the characters and how they deal with life under duress. In Beck's Patient Zero, we have poor Bob. Bob has a tumor and has opted for an experimental procedure to remove it. Bob dies during the procedure, and the Zombie virus is born. The whole procedure/virus/mutation scenario was an interesting and believable one.
But what makes this flesh eating tale a bit different is that the story is told from the point of view of the virus. It's a callous and uncompromising point of view, but then again, it is a virus. It sort of reminded me of Jeff Lindsay's Dexter in The Dark, in which entire chapters were devoted exclusively to the point of view of Dexter's dark passenger, which also seemed virus like in its ancient physiology. Aside from the point of view here, the rest of Beck's story is pretty standard zombie fare. Bob will eventually become a zombie, and his son might just have to blow his brains out. Readers will be able to connect with Bob, such a sad sack of a troubled man who never seems to get dealt any luck in life, and even though the point of view is a detached one, often over the course of the story, we get the impression that the virus feels bad for Bob too.
This was a short, enjoyable read, though my Kindle file seemed to have some paragraph formatting issues.