Book #65: Undead Ultra (A Zombie Novel) by Camille Picott

Undead: a reanimated corpse with a craving for human flesh.

Ultramarathon: any footrace longer than a traditional marathon (26.2 miles).

For ultrarunners Kate and Frederico, a typical Saturday morning is spent pounding out a twenty- to thirty-mile “fun run.” It’s during one of their runs that an insidious illness descends upon northern California, turning humans into flesh-shredding zombies.

When Kate receives a desperate call from her son, Carter, she and Frederico flee their hometown and set out to help him. The only problem? Carter attends college over two hundred miles away and the freeways—clogged with car wrecks, zombies, and government blockades—are impassable. Running back roads and railroad tracks becomes their only means of travel, but neither of them has ever run so far before.

As pain, injuries, hunger, and fatigue plague them, getting to Carter and staying alive seem impossible. It’s either outrun the undead or become one of them, and for Kate, death is not an option.

So, this was supposed to be one of those awesome free copies without compensation for an honest review, but I accidentally deleted and emptied my trashcan before I could get the code and use it in Audible. That said, I was planning on buying it even if I didn’t get the code. So, I bought the book. And OMG.

I LOVE this book.

The narrator is well chosen. Her voice used for the MC’s son may be a bit nasally and sound like a kid despite him being past adolescence in some parts, but it wasn’t a big deal. Just something to note.

The first thing you think about when a zombie outbreak happens is by no means run. Yes, run away from the creatures, but you wouldn’t think to run over 200 miles to family. You’d choose a car. But Picott really sets into motion something I didn’t think about and yes, a car is probably a bad idea.

I am a horror buff. I love my classic horrors and new. I love the idea of twisting and changing the norms of horror and this book did that. I actually have the Zombies, Run app and I love it for the running and storyline. I got both in Undead Ultra.

I was disturbed, gasping, and there were some tears welling up in certain places. I never even knew there were running stores or ultraraces. Truly, I thought the serious long distance runner was more like a Hollywood gimmick to illustrate the character’s physical exertion in a life transition. But no, ultraracing is real. These people are badass. Even without the zombies!

I was not only in the story, but I was on the trail with Kate and Frederico. I was feeling the sweat. I was hearing the moans. And I loved every second of it.

So much so that I have found my hobby. I have always loved the treadmill, but I never really told myself it was cool to be a runner. I gotta tell ya, it’s fucking cool. I am a person who likes to have a direction. And I have decided to start running. Just three days a week.

I wouldn’t necessarily say this book is the sole reason for it, I’ve wanted to run and I did like it, but I didn’t have a goal with that running and this book presented me a goal. No, I don’t plan on running 200+ miles during a zombie apocalypse, but I have decided that I want to participate and not DNF in an ultrarace. It’s not going to happen over night. Hell, I can barely run all the way through a 5k. I need practice. But, I have a goal. And I’m excited for it.

So, Picott, you have made a beginning runner in me and I loved this book. Just one big question though . . . I know this can stay a standalone, but OMG I loved it so much that I would scarf down a sequel in a heartbeat, any chance you can make this fangirl’s dream come true? Just saying.

Final Rating: 5/5

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