Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review: Asylum by Mark Allan Gunnells (The Zombie Feed)

ASYLUM is a new novella by Mark Allan Gunnells from the micro press The Zombie Feed. I am a HUGE fan of apocalyptic zombie fiction and with Gunnells setting his story in a gay bar, I immediately tore into it, curious to see how his twist on this claasic horror staple would play out.

Gunnells had me from the first sentence. ASYLUM starts off with a hook up in the parking lot of a gay night club and just skyrockets from there.  Curtis and Jimmy are the two friends who first realize that the impossible has happened, that they are being surrounded by a growing hoard of shuffling, fleah eating zombies.  They flee into the club and have to convince the other club patrons that all their lives are in danger and that they have to barricade themselves in.

What Gunnells does from here is tell the story from multiple viewpoints, allowing each character to take center stage while giving us a glimpse at their backstory.  This helps us to care about these people and what happens to them.  Knowing that they probably won't survive to see the morning makes each of them react in different ways and Gunnells handles it all with great skill, keeping the story fast paced while adding depth to his characters.

The tension builds nicely as the story unfolds and the ending is perfect.  For me ASYLUM is more tragic than horrific, so fans of the more blood splattered, hard core zombie fiction may think this too tame for them.  However, I found it an original, worthy addition to both the wide ranging zombie genre and to the gay horror field.  Kudos to Mr Gunnells for this fresh new zombie tale and to The Zombie Feed for unleashing it upon us!

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