Zombie Apocalypse: Acapulcalypse Now by Allison Littlewood
The Hotel Baktun is an exclusive vacation complex that is about to open on the coast of Acapulco, Mexico. Owned by a mysterious multi-millionaire businessman, it is shaped like an ancient Mayan pyramid and its halls are lined with rare and expensive artefacts.
For Stacy Keenan, the hotel's new Head of Security, things are already chaotic as the locals continue to put the finishing touches to the festivities while VIPs begin to arrive for the grand opening. When a Russian cruise ship turns along the shore and disgorges its cargo of flesh-eating zombies, the guests and staff soon fragment into various factions as they struggle to withstand the spread of HRV (Human Reanimation Virus).
As the armies of the dead conquer all that stand before them, and the human survivors prepare for a final battle against an unstoppable enemy, a horror even more ancient and terrible is revealed when 'The Death' comes to Paradise . . .
Zombies always do well in fiction, look at Dawn of the Dead and of course the Walking Dead. They are a subject that can be used in many different ways, just a few weeks a ago Allison Littlewood wrote a blogpost on her view of zombies which you can find here. It just comes to show that despite being a short word, zombies are versatile. This is my first venture in the Zombie Apocalypse series so I can´t reference towards the earlier books.
Acapulcalypse Now begins innocent enough as it should. The mighty and rich get invited to the latest state of the art resort in Acapulco, Mexico. If you would get an invitation wouldn't you jump on to the plane right away? The resort in question is build in the shape of a big Mayan temple, but it doesn't only has the facade the interior is lined with artifacts. As the people gather to the resort is isn't without the problem that the rich face, things that don't go there way. Next to the rich that get flown, a Russian cruise ship was also invited to come along and celebrate the grande opening. Though the Russian ship is what topples everything there are notes prior to of weird things happening. A airplane crashes and the survivors aren't well alive anymore if you know what I mean. Some people at the resort do get wind of this. As I already said, when the Russian ship arrives everything chances. The walking dead escape the ship and now you might think well can they swim? No they walk on the bottom of the ocean towards the resort. A lot of the guests and residents don't want to believe it until they really get face to face with the horrifying beings. As with any zombie apocalypse, they have to fight to stay alive. But besides this normal threat it comes to show that there is more going on than the zombie invasion...
I read zombie fiction before but to be honest I have never come across such a strong introduction of things that spiral out of control fast as what Allison Littlewood did in Acapulcalypse Now. The scene with the reporter. Now this is precisely as how I would imagine it. First giving the news as is, and then the scene terrible escalating. This part had so much dynamics going on, it felt like I was watching the eight o'clock news. Allison Littlewood perfectly captures the surprise, unbelieve and horror of it.
Though this is for me one of the more prominent scenes there are plenty more like this all thorughout the story. Of course the tone of the book is dark and grim and the prospect of survival is slim to none, there are however also some funny moment hidden throughout the book, some before the plague struck and others happening after. The humor in the story isn't carried over the top but can often be seen in the small victories and little moments. This small addition of humor has a big influence on the story dynamics overall making you feel and care much more for the protagonists in question.
Talking about characters there are plenty that you follow all along the story. For me the ones that stood out were McClelland and Stacy, they were most of the times together. Stacy is the head of security for the Acapulco resort and McClelland was a survivor from the Russian ship. They make up the main movement of the story, they have similar and dissimilar personality traits that made them a great duo. Though the events in the story aren't spread over weeks and weeks, it really felt that they were growing together more and more towards the ending of the story. I guess when you are presented in such a situation it is only natural to put somethings aside and make sure you get out alive.
As I also mentioned above is that there is much more going on that just the zombie invasion. Something supernatural is happening and this gave unexpected plot twist to say the least. I think there might be some zombie purist who will say that it doesn't fit. Well I liked it, comes to show that there is more!
Allison Littlewood did a terrific terrifying job with Acapulcalypse Now. I cant compare it to the earlier books written in this series but I cant say that Allison Littlewood went above my expectations of the zombie genre currently stand for. And still that scene with the reporter. Brilliant.