Genesis-Z by Everist J Miller takes us to a dystopian world where the Zombie Apocalypse has already happened and humanity has won, at a terrible cost, though, to society. Following the Zombie War, all talk of Zombies, even the use of their name is forbidden. Now, the authorities have come up with a scheme to use Zombies to benefit society. Called “volunteers” the Zombies are fitted with skin tight uniforms and masks to hold their rotting flesh together and a headset that allows the humans to control them and instruct them in laboriously repetitive and boring tasks. The volunteers will do the manual work of rebuilding that humans just simply don’t want to be bothered with. On one particular building site, “volunteer” Ray is trialling a new prototype headset that will increase the volunteer’s abilities to actually think somewhat and not have to be under the constant direction of a supervising human. But, have the developers opened a Pandora’s Box from which there is no turning back? When psychopath Doug decides to take advantage of this new technology to reignite the Zombie War that he misses so much, all hell is set to break loose.
What I did like about Genesis-Z was its slightly different approach to the Zombie Apocalypse arc. The idea that volunteers could be used as cheaper, more reliable replacement workers than humans, despite the fact that there was not enough work to go around, as it was and many were living in absolute poverty and desperation, I found to resonate. I’m not sure if author Everist J Miller was trying to draw the comparison, but I couldn’t help but note the similarity in the opinions towards the volunteers as we see today, towards undocumented or illegal immigrants. “They’re stealing our jobs!” versus, “but you don’t want to do those jobs anyway.” I did find the dialogue a little contrived and repetitive at times, especially the stock-standard phrase of the psychopath, “my friend” which definitely did begin to grate by the end of the story. However, if you want an action-packed, Zombie-style adventure, with a bit of a twist from the usual, then this is just for you. I do warn you though; this story is not for the faint-at-heart. The author pulls no punches when it comes to direct and, at times, disgusting descriptions of the volunteers and their habits and conditions. If you love that sort of thing, you’ll lap this up.