The Becoming: Brothers in Arms by Jessica Meigs
Genre: Zombie Apocalypse
Quick Thoughts: The Becoming: Brothers in Arms is a short, but fully realized tale of undead mayhem and two brother’s fight to survive. It is a must read for fans of The Becoming, as well as a good introduction to Meigs world for those who have yet to experience it.
Jessica Meig’s The Becoming was the first audiobook I finished listening to in 2012, by a slim margin. I was listening to it on my way home from a friends house, were I was celebrating New Years Eve. It was around 3AM and I was driving down the Schuylkill Expressway in Philadelphia, riveted to Meigs characters as they dealt with the undead. It was a great way to bring in the New Year. What I really liked about The Becoming was its characters and their realistic response to a world turned onto its head. About half way through The Becoming, our main characters meet up with two new characters, Theo, a paramedic and his brother Gray. These two characters become and integral part of the narrative and added a new dynamic to the overall tale. Yet, they just show up in the midst of the chaos of the zombie apocalypse and we never really get too much of a back-story on these two brothers and how they survived until that point. Luckily, Meigs remedies this with a supplemental novella called The Becoming: Brothers in Arms, which tells you the story of how these two brothers were able to survive the initial outbreak, and eventually hook up with the characters of the original novel.
The Becoming: Brothers in Arms is a fast pace, tightly drawn Zombie outbreak novel that highlights the characters craftiness and ingenuity over any special skills or training. Theo and Gray are not highly trained military operatives, or survivalists who have been planning for this day, but two regular brothers who must use the tools at their hands in order to survive the violence and mayhem of a zombie outbreak. Meigs does a good job putting these two relatively normal guys in situations where they must use their natural born intelligence to find a way out of a highly unusual situation. In particular, Theo, the paramedic’s tale, is full of dark humor, and it’s obvious the author draws on her experience as a paramedic to create a realistic and tragic series of events for Theo to find ways to deal with. Meigs gives you interesting glimpses into both brothers thought processes, as they take in the evidence of the strange going ons, each coming to terms with the reality of the situations in their own ways. One of my favorite aspects of this novel is the author’s realistic portraits of sibling’s complicated relationships. While these brothers are willing to travel through a nightmare landscape to make sure the other is safe, the resentments and miscommunications of the sibling relationship simmer underneath. While the initial part of this story is a full of fast paced zombie action, when the action slows, the complex relationship easily takes its place creating tension, and driving the story forward. The Becoming: Brothers in Arms is a short, but fully realized tale of undead mayhem and two brother’s fight to survive. It is a must read for fans of The Becoming, as well as a good introduction to Meigs world for those who have yet to experience it.