And Then I Woke Up by Malcolm Devlin was certainly unexpected. This very short novella appears to at first be an account of a zombie apocalypse survivor and slowly morphs into something different. Keep reading to get my take on Malcolm Devlin’s new release.
In a world reeling from an unusual plague, monsters lurk in the streets while terrified survivors arm themselves and roam the countryside in packs. Or perhaps something very different is happening. When a disease affects how reality is perceived, it’s hard to be certain of anything…
Spence is one of the “cured” living at the Ironside rehabilitation facility. Haunted by guilt, he refuses to face the changed world until a new inmate challenges him to help her find her old crew. But if he can’t tell the truth from the lies, how will he know if he has earned the redemption he dreams of? How will he know he hasn’t just made things worse?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
And Then I Woke Up starts at the end with Spence telling his story of how he ended up at the rehabilitation center. Through Spence’s story, you learn about how things in this world are not always as they seem. I enjoyed how Devlin threw the typical zombie post-apocalyptic story on its head. You start this book thinking it will go one typical way, but it takes the reader in an unpredictable and eerie direction.
Devlin utilizes the concept of the unreliable narrator, which I typically really enjoy. The basis of the virus and the fact that Spence was infected, certainly makes Spence quite unreliable. I think this is part of what makes this novella work well. For readers that are not fans of unreliable narrators, the short length of the novella might make this trope more palpable.
The unfortunate side of it being such a short book is the fact that it didn’t allow for more development of the story. In And Then I Woke Up, Devil creates a very intriguing plot through this plague and the side effects it has wrought on Spence. Although one could argue that brevity is what lends to the interest and mystique of the story.
I would certainly recommend anyone to read And Then I Woke Up by Malcolm Devlin. It is a quick read and has a curious and thought-provoking element to it. Do not think you are going to encounter just another post-apocalyptic tale when encountering this novella. Get ready for an unexpected creepy horror story.