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This was the first novel written and self-published by Julie Rudolph.  It is a zombie apocalypse offering written in the first person.  The protagonist is Cali, a youngish, hip, nurse and mother living in southern California and just going about life when a virus hits and causes everyone to “reanimate”.  Cali is living in an apartment complex with her husband and ten year old son and when the shit hits the fan they are not terribly surprised. They seem ready to do what needs to be done due to Cali’s vast reading of zombie fiction and her husbands handiness.  They immediately gather supplies and join forces with the few people that remain behind at their walled off, gated complex. The have a few close calls with zombies, a couple of their fellow complex survivors get killed, but basically everyone seems a bit too happy considering they are living among the walking dead.  There are a bit too many easy fixes to their situations, for instance, the power finally quits and they just go out and get a whole bunch of solar panels and all the necessaries to make it power their lights, TV’s and fridge.  The water that lasted for over a month finally stops and they are able to get out and fill giant containers with water from the neighborhood pools to supply themselves with water, not even thinking how gross a  pool looks like after just a few weeks of neglect.  But life goes on, there is a wedding and a pregnancy.  Gardens are planted and a moat dug.   They encounter some regular thug-type bad guys and must defend their complex. And still I thought….everyone is just too happy.  No one had their cheese slide off the cracker…..no one crept off in search of missing loved ones….there’s just too many grins and giggles for believable human nature.

Now, this lady has talent.  Don’t think this is necessarily a bad review.  She has an innate story-telling ability and makes you want to like her characters.  She has the ability to build  tension and anticipation.  However, she is in desperate need of an editor.  Someone to guide her along the way and massage that talent into a great book.  This is one of the pitfalls of  selfie publishing.  Very few people are able to self-publish, self-edit, and self-promote their novel successfully.  If you are relying on friends or family members as beta readers, or pseudo-editors you will simply not get the truth, they know how hard you worked and what this means to you and that will color their opinions. Also, they don’t posses the skillset  and knowledge base to assist you in correction, fact checking , timeline consistency, etc.  Unless of course you are lucky enough to have a friend or relative that was a  journalism or English major.  So that being said, I hope Julie here finds herself an editor and rereleases her novels, because I think we got a live one here!