A snippet of a horror story, Anthony Camber’s novella, Till Undeath Do Us Part, tells the story of Olly and how he attempts to survive a zombie invasion started by his boyfriend Josh. Having been thrown headfirst into Olly’s fight or flight first-person narrative, the reader sees the protagonist dealing minute-by-minute with the decisions confronting someone who has just seen a zombie apocalypse scenario unfold in front of them. Interspersed equally with third-person flashes of Olly and Josh’s relationship, the reader sees the horror of the zombie invasion blossoming next to the budding romance between the protagonist and his boyfriend – the cause of the antagonistic zombies.
Inducing thoughts of 28 Days Later and other Zombie horrors, this book stands proud in the genre as you are drawn in by the focus on Olly, Josh and their friends. The tone is retrospective, with the reason behind this narrative style becoming clear at the books end. It allows the two storylines to move together seamlessly – the romantic storyline of how Olly and Josh fall in love mixed with the harsh reality of the horrific scenes described. Bloody and awful should not be able to blend with sweet and loving, yet somehow it works.
This latest addition to the modern gothic ticks all of the boxes of the style: monsters, heroes, a love story, gender and sexuality bending, the unifying themes of sex and death, and a romantic interpretation of geographic location. This was clearly written by someone who studied Literature and perhaps lived in Cambridge. This is not what makes it good; it is merely what satisfies this Gothic Literature nerd’s mind. What makes it good is the heart-pounding pace that keeps you cheering for the characters as they try to stay alive; the central character’s almost soulless march for survival; and the tender way in which the lover’s relationship is displayed. There are no graphic sex scenes which could stop you recommending it to heterosexual friends, but there are serious flaws with how the zombies came into being in the first place. However, saying that, this is clearly a modern gothic piece and not some Resident Evil knock-off bidding for attention, so if you are looking for a mad scientist and a rage virus it is probably worth missing as the discussion on these topics is kept very much out of the picture.
Exactly what it says on the tin, this novella is not about length or exposition of plot – it is about zombie apocalypse and a bid for survival intertwined with a love story for the modern age.