The North/South divided
released OUT NOW! 411 pages | Paperback/ebook Author Frank Owen Publisher Corvus Books
In an America where the civil war ended with the country split in twain, a second eruption of hostilities in the 21st century culminates in the North unleashing a wave of biological attacks. For brothers Dyce and Garrett, the plague of viruses is the least of their troubles, as they’re on the run from the Callahan clan, the most powerful militia in the decaying South. Sheltering from a storm, they meet Vida, who’s searching for medicine for her infected mother, and the three decide there might be safety in numbers.
South might not contain any zombies, but it offers numerous comparisons with The Walking Dead. Alongside the post civilisation backdrop, redneck siblings Dyce and Garrett have a fractious relationship like Daryl and Merle Dixon. There’s a settlement that appears to offer safe haven but holds a dark secret and, just like in TWD, the principle danger comes from other humans, not the invisible pathogens.
The prose is plain but direct and the passages told from the perspective of the infected deliriously evoke the heat of a raging fever. Although some plot turns are predictable, there’s a constant, creeping sense of menace, plus enough fresh ideas to give South its own identity.
“Frank Owen” is really a two-writer team: Diane Awerbuck and Alex Latimer. They hail from South Africa.