My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Demise of the Living starts off as the zombie apocalypse hits and follows the stories a variety of separate characters who must come together in an office building in order to survive.
There are a number of things McKinnon does that work well in this novel. The characters are remarkably different and the story manages to eventually bring the characters together into one se in a way that seems pretty random but natural. At a certain point late in the novel, Domain of the Dead spins off into a murder mystery. This twist builds the events up to a narrative climax that works well and keeps the pages turning.
The conflict between the characters keep the story interesting. Thomas, the building maintenance worker, goes a long way to keeping the story interesting, as does John, the fat, whiny office worker. While some of the others fail to quite come to life as much, the conflict in their interactions makes for some entertaining stuff.
Unfortunately, for reasons I won’t disclose, the big reveal of the murder mystery will not likely take anyone by surprise. Based on what the reader knows of the characters from the narrator, it also comes across as a pretty forced attempt by the author to shock the reader with a surprise ending. As the end of the novel approached, I sort of feared this was where the story would end up. I was hoping I’d be wrong, because it would have been a much better story if I was wrong.
Overall it was enjoyable. Fans of post-apocalyptic fiction will appreciate the intensity of the scenes. And if you somehow don’t see the ending coming, you will likely enjoy the book a little more than me.