Not that I’m overly eager to dip a toe into those lavender-scented waters. Rather, I’m just interested to see what he’d do with the genre.
I’m not a big fan of the supernatural, but his debut, Southern Gods, was so gripping, so good, that it sucked me in and made me realize that perhaps I just wasn’t a fan of poorly written supernatural books.
I’ve had similar reservations about zombie books, and I’ll be damned if Jacobs didn’t prove me wrong there, too. This Dark Earth is the kind of thing I wouldn’t have picked up off of the shelf, but with Jacobs’ name sitting there on the bottom of the book cover (right under such visceral copy as “Grab your head knocker and get ready for some wet work in the murder-hole”), I knew it was worth the time.
And then some. Like it’s predecessor, This Dark Earth is a thrill ride that makes you think. Here, you get your typical flesh-eating zombies that slowly stalk the few souls (un)lucky enough to have survived whatever it was that led to the outbreak in the first place. But Jacobs turns this into a dystopian nightmare that feels, God help us, somewhat probable.
We follow Lucy, a physician; Knock-Out, a truck driver; and Gus, Lucy’s son, as they help to build Bridge City, a fortress that protects the uninfected against the zombies. This world within a world allows Jacobs to comment on our state of affairs while never making the result seem preachy (credit all of that “head knocking” in the “murder-hole”).
This isn’t a crime novel, per se, though there is plenty of crime taking place here. No, it’s really something bigger than that. And it’s certainly not just a zombie novel. Though there is plenty of that action to sate fans of the genre. Ultimately, it’s just something you ought to read. Period.
Oh, and John: I’m just kidding about romance thing.