Top critical review
Familiar characters and good development with blurred together villains
Reviewed in the United States on October 15, 2018
Desdemona Fox was part of a caravan of buses transporting children out of her hometown. Unfortunately, they were separated from the rest and stranded by an EMP. She has to find a sace place for the kids before they are eaten by zombies or killed by scavengers. Joe Ledger is travelling with his dog, helping those who need help and killing those who hurt others. Rachael Elle used to be a cosplayer and now is a warrior against the undead. She is part of a community and seeks to find people who need help. All of them will eventually meet up and find themselves fighting against a very human threat.
Dark of Night is a novella continuation of the Dead of Night series, falling in between the second and third books. It's a nice piece to fill in gaps, but isn't really necessary to the story. Dez and Joe are from previous stories and Rachael is a brand new character. Dez is one of my favorite characters ever. She does what needs to be done, even murdering adults who make noise after many warnings of the danger. To save the children, she painted the bus with zombie blood to keep them away and kept them safe until she knew it was time to leave. Joe Ledger is a strong soldier struggling to keep his humanity after losing his family and killing to many zombies and degenerates. Rachael is a former cosplayer who sharpened elven knives and a sword to fight orcs (what she calls zombies) and uses the heroes of science fiction and fantasy as inspiration to keep fighting and keep saving people. Each character brought something different to the story and had a different perspective on the situation.
Many things have happened since the last book. The government thought it somehow prudent to set off nuclear bombs and EMPs to slow the spread of the disease. It only really creates radioacive zombies, horrible weather, and kills what few vehicles were left. The zombies have some new behaviors that they exhibit as time goes on. They seem to be attracted to each other and travel in packs. Smell, sight, and sound make them swarm towards something, moving rather slow and shuffley. As with the previous books, a worm parasite causes this disease and spreads through bodily fluids. The previous installment made it airborne, causing every corpse to turn after death. These developments moved the storyline forward and explained how the characters start this story.
Dark of Night is a colorful novella that combines disparate characters against a common foe. My biggest problems were in the very poor editing (numerous misspellings and grammar mistakes) and in the human enemies. They may as well have been zombies because they blended together in a horde of people calling themselves the Nu Klux Klan. No one stood out and they all acted exactly the same: attacking, slaving, pillaging, and generally being horrible. I wish they were a little different or stood out in some way. The development of the main characters and the world building were all great, but this aspect stood out to me as being a bit lacking in comparison to his other works. It was still enjoyable and I can't wait to read the followup, Still of Night.