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Permuted Press 2011

Erik Tragger is ex-military, divorced and living in a small Oregon town when the dead start to rise.  Erik gathers up some supplies from his home and decides to ride out the end of the world in a secluded cabin in the mountains.  After months of isolation and hearing no news from the world Erik decides to try to make it back to his town and see about getting more supplies, which are beginning to run dangerously low.

What he finds upon his return is not what Erik expected.  It seems there are more than just your run of the mill zombies to contend with.  Saved from certain death by a group of survivors in an abandoned Walmart, Erik discovers that the ghouls he encountered were humans who fed on the flesh of zombies.  At first it was out of desperation but it has quickly become apparent that these ghouls want to make more of their kind—a freakish zombie/human hybrid.

After helping the group from the super store get away so they can head to Portland, Erik ends up back at the cabin with Katherine, another survivor.  After some months they are attacked and forced back to the town they originally fled from.  What ultimately awaits Erik in this new and dangerous world is beyond anything he could have imagined. 

BEYOND THE BARRIERS is another book that attempts to take the zombie sub-genre in a new direction and Long succeeds in that effort.  BARRIERS sets up a very frightening scenario for the end of the world and it is a book that I could not put down.  Characters are well-developed and have a depth that enables the reader to connect to them.  The ending is rather unexpected and left intentionally vague….I’m hoping that means a sequel?  Anyway, having seen a glut of zombies in the horror genre, I am pleased to see writers like Timothy Long taking risks and their zombies into new directions.  Get this book.

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