All Roads End Here
The Final War #2
Paperback | Kindle
Written by David Moody
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: February 12, 2019
When I first read the description of David Moody’s All Roads End Here, I have to say that I was very intrigued. The summary sounds like a wildly unique take on zombie fiction, and if I’m being completely honest, I love zombie fiction. So in order to fully prepare myself for the novel and this review, I read the first installment in this series, One Of Us Will Be Dead By Morning. After having read two of Moody’s novels set in his “Hater” universe (there’s another trilogy that takes place during the events of this series), I can say without a doubt in my mind that this is the scariest version of a “zombie” tale that I have ever read.
Before getting into the finer details of the review, let me first explain to you what Haters are. Haters are people who have a specific gene that, when triggered, fills them with hate. This hate is so powerful, so all-encompassing, that when they see someone who does not have the Hater gene (these people are called the Unchanged), they become animalistic – think zombies from World War Z or 28 Days Later, but these are still human beings, essentially; human beings who are consumed with the need and desire to hurt and kill, not to feed.
This brings us to our protagonist, Matt Dunne, who survived the initial outbreak on a small island in the Netherlands while on a professional development/work retreat. Matt makes his way back home to search for his girlfriend, Jen, and to make sure she’s safe. For about three months, Matt has been on his own and has developed an incredibly useful skill set in being able to avoid Haters by doing the exact opposite of what the Unchanged do. This includes running in opposite directions (because typically the Unchanged are so afraid they end up running en masse in the same direction); sneaking away from large crowds; and, if it comes down to it, sacrificing others for his own sake. Now, having found Jen in a walled-off city, it is only Matt’s instinct and cunning that will help him and the others he meets survive.
I have never been so terrified while reading a book before like I was while engaging with All Roads End Here. I was left in a constant state of paranoia – something the characters always feel – making me feel, in a way, like a character in the story myself. However, despite the well-written, albeit horrifying story, it took me a while to understand whether or not I actually liked the book. The morally gray areas of the novel were, almost always, too hard to stomach. People – including Matt – ignore those who need help in order to save themselves; characters try to justify killing innocent individuals for the sake of survival. These concepts, which are prevalent in both books in the series, forced me to see the worst in humanity as the characters that I was supposed to like, continue to have this “I did what I had to do” mentality. Add to that the fact that there isn’t much hope in this story.
I can’t say that I loved All Roads End Here; however, I can say that Moody’s story is fascinating, terrifying, and made me question walking down my own hallway at night from my bedroom to the bathroom. I think that’s the sign of a good read, even if it is about an evil world.