Last Man Standing by Keith Taylor

Tom Freeman reports on the aftermath of the Bangkok outbreak. Thousands died in the slaughter, torn apart, when a toxin spreads through the population, turning them into vicious zombies. Disturbed by what he discovers he returns to the States and tries to alert the world, but slowly life push his fears to the back of his mind. Until one morning, what happened in Bangkok is happening in New York.

All three books read fast, acerbic observations follow deadpan humour, churning through the action with the urgency you’d expect from a trilogy subtitled “a zombie apocalypse survival series”. There’s a filmic brevity to proceedings, with each of the three books working as the acts in a feature screenplay. Each new discovery raises the stakes, twists the knife, as Tom and company battle to stay alive.

The second book has more political complications, swiping at the religious zealotry at the heart of government, and the psychopaths who would thrive in the chaos. It also reveals the cause of the outbreak, a Bangkok variant of Cordyceps, the same fungus that cause the apocalypse in The Last of Us (2023- ). Book two runs heroically into three and the possibility of a vaccine to stop Cordyceps, but there’s two thousand miles between Tom and the CDC labs in Nevada. Can Tom and his friends save the country, the world?

Not a perfect series by any means, but enjoyable enough while it lasted.


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