REVIEW – Humanity Gone: After the Plague by Derek Deremer and Dean Culver

Humanity GoneHumanity Gone: After the Plague is engaging post-apocalyptic fiction, but it is not without problems.

First the good. The characters are interesting and well-rounded. The story moves along at a good pace and pulled me in within a few pages. I found myself rooting for their survival, and I didn’t feel any of them acted particularly idiotic to move the plot forward, though they do make bad decisions from time to time, just like normal people do, and these are just young adult in very stressful circumstances. Most everyone over the age of 19 dies of a mysterious plague in this book, which seems suspiciously specific, particularly since there is nothing special about turning 20, but that didn’t bother me because in this type of story, something must act as the apocalyptic catalyst and usually isn’t important to the plot itself. However, since there is at least one exception to the everyone-over-19 plague, if the authors expand on it in future books, it better be good. As it is, in this book, the explanation is not necessary.

Humanity Gone: After the Plague is written in a shifting first-person, present tense. An unusual choice, and I don’t believe I’ve read first-person present ever before in novel-length fiction. Normally, shifting viewpoint first person drives me batty to the point where I can’t read it, but since each chapter is titled with the name of the point-of-view character (ala Game of Thrones), I did not get lost, nor did I mind it. The present tense did feel a little awkward at times, and I wonder how much the feel of the story would’ve changed had it been written in past tense, as most novels are. It’s not a big deal, just a point of curiosity for me.

Now, I did notice a LOT of formatting errors, and this is another instance where I really want to be able to rate half-stars, because 3 stars seems a little harsh. I found them distracting enough that rounding up to 4 stars seems overly generous, though. Now, many readers may not notice the errors, and I don’t know if they were caused by the e-book conversion process or if they’re the fault of the authors (or whoever they had do the page layout). Having such obvious formatting errors distract me caused me to notice more spelling & syntax errors than I probably would’ve noticed. No matter how many editing/proofreading passes a manuscript gets, it’s virtually impossible to catch all typos, and I’ll bet most people won’t notice them anyway. The formatting, though, that really bothered me because it made the book look unprofessional.

Still, if you’re not bothered by that and you want some entertaining post-apocalyptic fiction, then you certainly could do worse. I was in the mood for a story of that nature, and this did not disappoint. I’m definitely going to add book 2 to my reading list.

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