Before the day… before M-day… people used to read books and watch movies about zombies. They used to dress up as zombies; pretend to kill zombies… Basically, zombies had become a part of popular culture in a very unexpected way.
The highly anticipated zombie apocalypse never came.
What did come was much worse than any city over run with shambling corpses after brains and flesh. A virus… a virus that only affected men. Nobody knew what caused it, or where it had come from, not that it really mattered. It’s here and there’s no going back.
Maxine was one of the lucky ones–she got out alive. She and her friends banded together to survive the new desolate conditions left behind by the virus. When a supply gathering mission goes awry, Max and company are left with no better choice than to trust a group of uninfected military men. No longer on the run from her infected husband, Max discovers there could be worse dangers for her on the horizon… Like losing her heart to her mysterious savior everyone calls Zee.
When I post spotlights of books, I choose the ones I am interested in reading and want to share my finds with other readers. M-Day is one of those books I posted about and finally had the opportunity to read, but it was not at all what I expected. Maybe I should have read the reviews beforehand, but I didn’t want to be influenced by other readers’ opinions of the book.
I know it’s a cliché to say I really wanted to like this book, but it’s true. I was attracted to this novel because it has an unusual twist on the typical zombie-infested post-apocalyptic fiction I’ve read. Like other books in the zombie genre, there is an outbreak of a virus, but only men become infected. Similarly, these men become mindless and animalistic in their nature, losing their ability to think and reason. They also become faster and stronger than normal. However, this is where the similarities end. The men don’t desire to feast upon the women’s flesh. Instead, they hunt and enslave them for their own deranged sexual purposes. Although the premise of the book is creative in its approach to an apocalyptic disaster, the eroticism and obsession with sex become so dominant that the rest of the plot is diluted and shallow.
From the book’s description it’s obvious this will be a war between the sexes, and I expected there would be violence and some sexual situations. However, what I read was more of an erotic dark “romance” with a weak post-apocalyptic storyline, and this is the major reason I was disappointed by the book. The world-building needs to be fleshed out with more details about survival in this dark and gritty setting. Instead, the sexual depravity of the infected men eclipses other aspects of this post-apocalyptic environment.
The book has a strong beginning that introduces us to three women, Max, Evo, and Izzy, who have banded together to survive and evade the horrors of being captured by the infected men (I-Men) in search of women to possess. Running low on fuel, Max decides to sneak into one of the I-Men camps to find gasoline. There, she meets and is rescued by Zee who leads the women to a temporary sanctuary guarded by the military. From this point on, the story went downhill for me. The emphasis moves to Zee and Max’s instant desire for each other and their sexual relationship ensues. The love scenes are frequent and explicit. Max and Zee seem to fall into a haze of lust and forget about preparing for the ugly reality that awaits them.
When Max is kidnapped by her infected husband, readers are given a vivid description into what life is like for the women who are captured and enslaved to satisfy the I-Men’s insatiable sexual cravings. The brutality these women suffer is revolting and was too much for me. I was also disappointed by the excessive use of profanity that weakened the dialogue, yet one could argue that it fits right in with the deterioration of this society.
All in all, this book just did not work for me. If you are looking for a dark erotic read set in a post-apocalyptic world then M-Day might interest you.
Source: Purchased ebook