FEVER by Wayne Simmons, the followup to the author’s FLU, functions as both a prequel and something of a sequel. It begins with the origin of the virus that causes the dead to rise and seek the flesh of the living, introducing us to a new cast of characters while occasionally providing glimpses or a different perspective on events occurring in the first book. About two-thirds of the way through FEVER, the chronology of the narrative passes FLU, ending with a setup for what I expect will be a third installment in the series.
Simmons has a great writing style that is gritty and engaging, and the storyline flows naturally and feels organic, with characters that congeal as real people in the reader’s mind over time, particularly once they are in crisis situations, when we get to see them as they really are, warts and all. I enjoyed the perspective as the country reeled from a novel contagion and then collapsed as the dead rose. I also enjoyed seeing the classic zombie story set in a different country, in this case, Ireland.
While some readers may find the jump from prequel to sequel innovative, and be able to follow along with FLU fresh in their minds, others may find it awkward, however, particularly if they did not read FLU or haven’t read it in a while.
Overall, FEVER is a fun read, but I recommend reading (or rereading) FLU first.
P.S. For some reason, the publisher has made the book only available in paperback; there appears to be no eBook version. The publisher also does not sell it directly through Amazon, at least in the U.S.; instead, you have to buy it from other sellers that use Amazon. There is no sample available.