Series: AM13 Outbreak Series
Author: Samie Sands
Writing books about the horrors of the zombie apocalypse is one thing—but Georgie Blake can’t believe it has become her reality…
She never expected her fictional stories of blood, death, and the consumption of human flesh to jump off the page into the real world. She certainly didn’t think she’d survive this long if they had. As a shy novelist, she was sure she’d be one of the first to die.
Safe in the Sanctuary, Georgie holds on to hope for a cure…
But that’s not all she holds on to. The government has promised the people of the Sanctuary that they can return home. The rumours are rife that there is an antidote on the horizon. But even if not, the infected are dying out, throwing the treacherous AM13 virus to the brink of extinction. If the infection dies out, this horrible nightmare Georgie is living in will be a distant memory.
Until everything that’s right goes terribly wrong…
Soon after meeting some new friends in the Sanctuary, Georgie learns she’s going to have to face the monsters outside the walls if she wants to return to her old life. But for a scared, introverted bookworm, it may be too much to consider…
Will Georgina conquer her fears of the dead to return home, or will she be one of the countless others who have gone Extinct?
I still, even now, can’t believe this has actually happened! In the beginning, back when people weren’t taking the whole “health scare” thing very seriously—before people saw the evidence of the AM13 virus—I had all kinds of stupid shit said to me.
“It’s like you’re living in your very own scripted movie, you must be so pleased!”
“Your books have come true!”
“At least you’ll have a lot of practice with this whole thing.”
And it was always teamed with this stupid, innocuous laugh that drove me crazy. I mean, what the fuck, guys? Seriously?
Yes, I’m a zombie author, but that doesn’t exactly mean I ever wanted to end up living within the pages of my books. I actually have a very successful series of young adult apocalyptic novels—five to date—and there was even talk of a film at some point, but that was fantasy. I didn’t want this to happen—no one in their right mind would.
The only reasons my books were as popular as they were is because I used my imagination to write them. I didn’t base them in any kind of fact or predictions or anything. When I think about me sitting there, revelling in putting my fictional characters—that despite popular belief, I do actually love!—through such hell, it kinda makes me feel sick. My readers, fans, whatever you’d like to call them, have sent me a lot of online…opinions…bordering on abuse over time as each new book came out, and more characters that they’d come to adore and root for, died. I know it was harsh; I tried to tell them as much. But you just don’t get through a zombie apocalypse without losing a few people.
And now, we’re living through it for real, and I’m seeing for myself how true that really is. I think it’s safe to say that it isn’t fun, and no, not even I’m finding it exciting.
To even think I could be enjoying a single part of my writing being reality is just ridiculous. From the very first second that I heard about the virus on the news, my blood ran cold. Other people didn’t pay much attention to it, even took it as a joke, but something deep inside of me was just beyond fascinated. I didn’t believe it—I was like everyone else in that sense—it was just too strange to be true. But to see a zombie virus discussed on the proper news was insane. In a way, it was like seeing my books come to life. So, I kept up to date with the story religiously, the entire time trying to remember that there was no way it could be fact, that it was scientifically impossible, but growing more apprehensive for what the future held at the same time.
Then, it suddenly became clear that everything I’d assumed was false was really happening, and my entire world was shaken upside down. It was like the comfort rug I’d always lived upon had been ripped from beneath me. I felt like my foundation had been whipped away and I lost myself a little along the way.
It’s safe to say that I became obsessed. I was like a woman possessed by everything AM13, everything else just took a back seat in my life. Even my books! I stopped writing, stopped checking my texts, I even ignored my social media accounts. Me. The girl who was addicted to Facebook and Twitter. I was online all the time. You know, just in case something vital might be happening somewhere in the world. I never wanted to miss out. Being an introvert, I found the online world intoxicating.
By the time the Lockdown officially started, I was so trapped in my own isolated, scared little world that the quarantine really meant nothing to me.
I decided to trust the Government’s plan to lock everyone inside their own homes while they sorted out the virus, implicitly. I truly wanted to believe that everyone showing signs of infection would get themselves to the specialised medical facilities. I convinced myself so strongly that everything was going to be fine—even though, deep down I knew it was unlikely—that I chose to use the time wisely and get back to my work. I was convinced I’d be able to actually get the sixth book written whilst locked inside.
But instead, I simply stared at the page I’d already written a while back, watching the words swim around in front of my face. Then the zombies started to appear outside my window and I couldn’t help but watch them, fascinated.
They were disgusting; all bloody and covered in gore and a black sludgy stuff. Some of them had limbs hanging from their bodies and large ripped holes through their torsos. Seeing them snarl, growl, and become desperate for human flesh was worse than anything I’d ever written. Sure, my work was slightly toned down for the younger audience, but I couldn’t have even imagined this if I’d tried. I wanted to pretend none of it was real—it should have been easy to, seeing those things was pretty unbelievable—but I just couldn’t. I didn’t have the coping mechanism that I wanted.
I would’ve loved to have to used what I was seeing to inspire me in some way—a real life muse, but I just couldn’t get past my original paragraph. I just couldn’t transfer what I was seeing into my fantasy world. It was like the jigsaw pieces didn’t fit.
Every attempt to contain the deadly AM13 virus has failed, leaving humanity on the brink of extinction…
The plague is spreading out of control with no cure in sight. Then the government announces its new plan—a sanctuary in an area completely untouched by the infected—as long as you can get there alive and unscathed.
Ethan Watton has managed to survive this long, even with OCD making every day more hellish than it already is…
Ethan’s obsessive-compulsive disorder dramatically affected his life before the infection began. Now he’s desperate to get as far away from the zombie virus as humanly possible. Isolated and afraid, Ethan thinks there is no way in hell he will survive the epidemic.
Alyssa Turner has spent her teenage years prepping for the undead to challenge her zombie killing skills…
Alyssa knows with absolute certainty that she will survive the AM13 virus. She’s read all the books, watched all the films, and done all the research. She’s strong, tough, and a self-proclaimed badass. Any group would be lucky to fight alongside her…until the unthinkable makes her doubt every skill she’s acquired.
Dr. Jones is a scientist who doesn’t understand why he was selected to produce a cure…
Surely there are survivors more experienced in virology than he is. And what will happen to him—and the rest of the species—if he fails? Is the fate of the human race really resting on his shoulders? Or are there others working toward the same goal?
With the zombies multiplying and survivors struggling to make it to the sanctuary, Ethan, Alyssa, and Dr. Jones fight to fulfill their destinies. If they fail, their fate is sealed, and they will join the millions of others who have been…
Leah Watton’s practical joke has spiralled way out of control—all to impress a crush…
With a prank online video, Leah hopes to catch the attention of Jake Colton, a cute, blond-haired, blue-eyed co-worker she’s had a crush on for months. But instead of sending it to Jake, she manages to forward the clip to her boss—who buys every gory second.
When mass panic ensues, Leah learns the video is more than a staged act…
The government is calling the virus AM13. As the outbreak spreads, citizens are forced to stay indoors while they assess the gravity of the illness. Most people are quarantined in their homes, but Leah, Jake, and Leah’s best friend Michelle are some of the unlucky few who are stuck at work when the Lockdown occurs.
That’s where she first encounters one of the infected…
Aside from a contaminated woman devouring one of her co-workers, Leah has another problem. Does she do as she’s ordered and stay at work? Or should she disobey government orders and break free to reunite with her family?
She can’t go it alone—after all, Leah has none of the skills needed to survive—but with Michelle and Jake by her side, not even a contagious virus and a sea of the dead can keep her from…
Breaking out of the Lockdown…
I liked the concept behind the stories in these three books, it was different than the usual zombie tales.
Lockdown: Although it made a change for the story to start before the ‘outbreak’, the first half of the book was painfully slow, but worth sticking with for the latter half.
It’s written from Leah’s point of view and has a twist that you may, or may not, see coming. Leah, herself is an annoying person, who without a man to ‘look after’ her would have been one of the first to die!
Forgotten: The second book has new characters and alternates between Alyssa and Ethan’s points of view, alongside the report/journal written by Dr. Jones. This story is tenser than the first and the characters are more developed and likeable. The story itself had unexpected twists and was fun to read, although the portrayal of the ‘mindless’ zombies, doesn’t sit well in the context of the book!
Extinct: Another change of characters in the final book, this time told from Georgie’s perspective, and dealing with life in the island sanctuary, ‘safe’ from the zombies (or not)! This book wrapped up most of the threads and loose ends well, but not all of them. There are still unanswered questions… maybe it’s not the final book of the series!
*I voluntarily reviewed Advance Reader Copies of these books.
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About the Author:
Samie Sands is a 28 year old freelance graphic designer who has recently decided to follow her lifelong dream and use her creativity in a new way by writing.
She has a degree in Media Studies and PR and has already had articles published in a number of e-zines, including one of the most popular pieces at Zombie Guide Magazine. She has also had short stories included in a number of successful projects.
She lives in a small seaside town in the UK, but loves to travel to gain inspiration from new places and different cultures.
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