Doomsday’s Child Book 2: Came Monsters by Pete Aldin

Suzie Eisfelder

This is the second book in the series I raved about recently. You can read my words here if you wish. There were a lot of things I enjoyed in this book, but there was something that disturbed my enjoyment a little. Romance is the kiss of death for me with many books. This one had a slight exception. I did manage to finish the book and even read the third. And then there’s the but. I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to figure out why I’m disquieted by this book. It’s not the typos, I’ll give Aldin a rundown next time I see him. I think it’s the romance.

Bear in mind this book is dystopian. There’s been a virus which causes zombies, and that leads to a total breakdown in society. I mean, that just makes sense. But what tends to happen is that people pair up, they’ve been through hell together which is a shared experience and they fall in love. Have they really fallen in love? Or is it just that they have that shared experience and that brings them together? Or is it hormones thinking that they’ve got to pair up and have sex in order to perpetuate society? I don’t know, but there’s all the problems with romance in fiction, and why I have issues with it.

At this moment, I can’t recall whether the phrases were in this book or the final book of the series. But they seemed to indicate why Elliott loves Angie. And they’re excellent reasons, it’s not that she’s pretty or tosses her hair in the right way, but that she’s good with a gun and good in bad situations. These are good reasons when we’re talking about survival of the fittest. While that ameliorates things a little I feel it’s the romance that has spoiled the book for me.

Next week I’ll probably bash the romance angle with the third book, it gets worse for me. But there are redeeming features with both of them.

The world setting is really good. Aldin sets up a believable world, so believable that I’ve been thinking of looking at the map to see if every place he names is actually where he says it is. And to find out how far there is between each place. The time it takes to get from point to point will always depend on road conditions, and the road conditions have deteriorated badly in this series. This would change the driving time drastically, but I’d still like to check them all out on the map.

The virus and how it transmits has me fascinated. Does it go through the saliva and into a cut when the zombie successfully attacks a human? Or is there some other method of infection. The characters were certainly scared and worried after being successfully attacked. I’d love to see another story with some scientist, or doctor, talking about the whole virus.

How long after the virus first manifested did things really break down? I’m talking about useful things such as water, sewerage, electricity, gas. How did people in big cities cope as compared with those in small communities? When did the internet go down? And when did people in the new communities realise that they needed books, printed books, with survival information in order to progress as a small society?

I have so many questions and zero answers. It could give Aldin some jumping off points for short stories, but only if he wants to explore them further.

Despite everything I still like Elliot. He is still a likeable character, and does his best to do the right thing by whoever he considers his community. He’s still got PTSD, his new community tries hard, but there are no counsellors to be able to try and talk to him. They keep trying to bring him in and he keeps talking about going bush, while keeping himself to himself.

The writing is still good. I can’t find my notes, but I recall enjoying various sentences and phrases. I also enjoyed the overall writing. The book is well put together, with cliff hangers which are solved some time later. I am quite happy to read more by Aldin, so long as he understands I have this problem with romance. You know that old phrase, ‘it’s me, not you’, well, it’s definitely me. If you’d like to check out the book and potentially buy it you can do that quite easily here.

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