A Surprise in the Crowded Post-Apocalyptic Genre
5 out of 5 stars
I’m sure that people would be able to pick apart a book that they loved but I couldn’t find a lot of flaws in The Post. I really enjoyed it and I think it’s because it was just a little different than the rest of the books I’ve read in this genre. Similar to how I feel about Nicholas Sansbury Smith novels. They are just a click or two away from “the norm” and it just takes them a level above the rest.
Munoz writes an absolutely heart-wrenching story full of twists and turns and surprises that even a veteran PA reader like myself couldn’t predict. I’ve seen him call it a zombie and mystery book wrapped up in one and I fully agree with that. It starts off where the reader learns about the community a bit and also about the zombies outside their gates. The zombies themselves (called hollow-heads due to the fact that there is “nothing left in their heads”) weren’t anything new or super unique. The screamers reminded me of my least favorite zombie in the State of Decay video games. Anytime someone would get close they would emit an ear-splitting scream – thus calling more hollow-heads to your position).
Another shock (for me) was that Munoz doesn’t really do a ton of world-building about the pre-outbreak world. I applaud him here only because this is someplace where books can lose me. Not because it’s boring or anything, but because they don’t do a good job (or just skip the science completely). All we know about the world is that they are living in The Little Five and we find out later that they are outside of Atlanta. The only real look back we’re given is that a pandemic killed most of the population and that the ones who were left were either okay or hollow-heads.
Munoz’s description of the virus (or whatever it was) that ended up turning you into a hollow-head was interesting and well thought out in my opinion. The fact that a person started to feel better (and also really not care about anything in the world) as the pathogen ate away at parts of their brain was interesting and a good touch.
Now, I’ve skipped talking about the actual full plot of this book and I don’t think that I can talk too much about it. I’m going to refer to the synopsis to see what would be considered a spoiler, but there was a kidnapping that ends up causing the main character to discover that there is a whole deep and dark world outside of The Little Five that they would have never expected. The final third of the book as she goes out in search of answers was a tour-de-force and I absolutely had to get through it to figure out what happened.
I don’t know if Munoz purposefully wrote the ending the way he did, but I can say that it was left open-ended enough to become a series. I do know that the series (after book one) would fall into the more typical PA tropes (I think) but maybe Munoz will surprise me again! One can hope!
Overall, I loved this book. It’s definitely going to stick with me for a long time after. It’s definitely a book in a crowded genre that made me think. And a story that I’ll be telling others about for a while.
The Post by Kevin A. Muñoz
Narrator: Rebecca Gibel
Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
Published by HighBridge on January 15th 2019
Genres: Mystery, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombie
Ten years after the world's oil went sour and a pandemic killed most of the population, Sam Edison is the chief of police of The Little Five, a walled-in community near Atlanta, Georgia. Those who survived share the world with what are known as hollow-heads: creatures who are no longer fully human.
A man and a pregnant teenager arrive at the gate and are welcomed into the town. They begin to settle in when suddenly both are murdered by an unknown assailant. In the course of investigation, Chief Edison discovers that the girl was fleeing a life of sexual slavery, and that some members of the Atlanta community were complicit in the human trafficking network that had ensnared her.
In retaliation for Edison's discoveries, agents of the network abduct the stepdaughter of the town's mayor. Sam Edison and three companions track the kidnappers to Athens, Georgia, where they discover that the entire city is engaged in human trafficking. By the time Edison has recovered the kidnapped girl, the other three rescuers have been killed, leaving Edison alone to bring the mayor's stepdaughter home. Further complicating their return is Sam's realization that a prominent member of the community is in truth the ringleader of the slave-trading network.