Given my love for speculative fiction, it shouldn’t come at any surprise that I am a fan of zombie stories. Even though zombie stories aren’t my favorite flavor of the Post-Apocolyptic subgenre, I still usually really enjoy them. When I heard that Wesley Chu wrote a story bringing the world of The Walking Dead to China, I was absolutely interested.
And, yeah, that’s pretty much the summary for The Walking Dead: Typhoon- it’s zombies in China. And I really liked it! My favorite thing about this book is how lived in the world feels. You can feel how much grime and gunk and dirt is in this world, and it really sets the stage for a good zombie story.
The character work in this book is also pretty good; however, I didn’t find either of the main two characters to be very likeable. There’s Zhu, a Chinese man who grew up in a poor rural community, and then there’s Elena, a Texas girl who got stuck in China after getting a little too attached to her summer romance with Zhu right before the dead began walking. Now Zhu and Elena live at the Beacon of Light, a community that’s part of the last remnants of the Chinese government. Zhu and Elena are part of a scavenger team that goes into villages searching for ammo, food, and other necessities.
As for the plot, well, it would be giving a lot of the story away to tell you much. The story is very action-driven, and doesn’t really get bogged down in the finer details of what’s going on in the plot. And, surprisingly, I think it mostly works. Also, you totally don’t have to be a fan of The Walking Dead TV show or books to enjoy this- this is a standalone zombie story set in a completely different part of the world with no crossover that I could tell.
What I didn’t like so much: As someone born and raised in the Southern US, I wasn’t entirely happy with how Elena was portrayed; she felt like a charactature of a woman from the Deep South, and it sometimes rubbed me the wrong way. Also, THE ENDING. Ugh. The ending should have been done differently (and better) in my opinion. Don’t go into this expecting a happy ending for basically any of the characters.
Bottom line: 3.5/5 stars. It’s an enjoyable action-heavy zombie story with a unique setting, and worth a read if it sparks your interest.
Thanks to Edelweiss and the Publisher for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a review. I primarily listened to this book as an audiobook through Scribd, and thought it was very well narrated.