Yesterday’s Gone: Episodes 1 and 2 — Sean Platt and David Wright

Frazer’s album cover art, is gratefully acknowledged as the most appropriate image of intent for Yesterday’s Gone.

First off, I’m not big on the zombie genre.  When or if the time comes I’ll be more than happy to do my head-stomping, machete chopping, fire-popping best to free mankind from the scourge.  And I’ll be taking as many as I can with me, if I’m going down.  But reading about it just isn’t that entertaining.

 

Having said that, I will probably not go out of my way to find Episode 3, Season 2, or Season 3.  Episode 1 seemed a little derivative of Stephen Kings “The Stand” a large number of disparate groups of people drawn inexplicably together over great distances.  Some have a keen understanding of the situation and others may not understand but are touched in some way that makes them special.  You can love or hate the characters based on their particular personalities.  You can also see the lines being drawn between the good and the evil in the world, and what the good has to do sometimes to protect itself from the evil.

 

This is where the story takes on it’s own character and life.  Even if though the baseline rendering of the characters and circumstances seems less than original, the premise supports itself and its development.  It is completely unclear what has happened to humanity, and how those who remain were chosen.  What is clear  is that each character introduced in the first two episodes has a unique role to play in the greater story, even those characters with only cameo appearances.  (Similar to the original Star Trek unnamed technician on away teams, who always gets eaten, zapped, shot or disintegrated, the character is necessary to the movement of the plot or the development of another character.)

 

The bad guys, if that’s what to call them, are amorphous and undead.  No question.  Much of their activity is off screen in the first two episodes, and only a shadow of what they are capable of doing is revealed. How they got that way, and what becomes of their victims, is been played on only slightly in these two sections.  There are any number of questions you ask yourself at this stage, questions the authors hope you will return to learn the answers.  What is the swirly cloud (why 2:15)? Why the fog, the scorched earth, the missing stuff? And what about the misshapen creatures with the “Click, click, click” shit going on?

 

This is pretty much a cross between K-Pax and Dawn of the Dead.  The plot is complex and intense enough to be enjoyed by more hardcore zombie fans, and yet accessible enough for the casual zombie reader.  Organizing the novel by character, allows for multiple timelines, making geographically separate events run smoothly. I enjoyed reading these episodes and find the characters to be well developed and interesting.  I even care about what happens next for many of them. If further episodes were to jump onto my kindle while I slept, I’d read them also.  As a plotline, however, I’m just not that into mawing, gumming, chewing and click, click, clicking to go out of my way.

 

Good story, good writing, just not my speed.

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