Waiting For Daybreak

Waiting For Daybreak - Amanda McNeil Freida had a difficult life. Living with mental disabilities, she had a hard time negotiating the world and, especially, the people within it. It certainly seemed she’d hit one of her low points after a particularly awful date sent her into disassociation, self-harming and depression.Of course, if she hadn’t been in that low, she’d have been outside when the zombie apocalypse began, rather than in bed reeling from depression. She would have been like the rest of Boston – perhaps the world – roaming around seeking brains to feast upon.In the greatest irony, she almost seems to be thriving far more in this new, bleak world than ever she did before – just her, her cat – and even a love interest who doesn’t seem nearly as awful as her last real date. Perhaps they can carve their own life in world of zombies, despite every day being a battle to survive under constant threat from the AfflictedWhen I picked up this book, I had reservations. It’s a very short book, especially for something not part of an ongoing series. It seemed too short to be a self-contained story in and of itself.So I was wonderfully surprised by the masterful pacing that made this book and this story exactly as long as it needed to be. We had plenty of flash backs of Freida’s life to have a greater idea of her as a character and her history of mental illness. We learned enough about her to flesh her out as a person, to get an idea of the outbreak and what happened to her and how she survived – but not so much that it was extraneous, padding or unnecessary fluff.Similarly when she met Mike and had a relationship, we had enough information and scenes to see the shape of it, but not so many that we were drowned in excess detail that bogged the story down and turned it into a romance. We didn’t learn much about Mike, we didn’t need to know much about Mike. The story was a extremely well done balance –neither too much nor too little.Which covers most of everything in the book – the action scenes were exciting, lasted long enough that you didn’t blink and miss them but not so long that you were tempted to skip forwards; they were well described enough to get a sense of what was happening, without being so over-described that it felt like the fighters were actually taking notes. This whole book just hits the sweet spot – that perfect balance between too fast and too slow, too much description and just enough, too much world building and backstory, and not enoughI also love that Freida is every bit as much an action hero as Mike in this. In fact, when she finds Mike, he is surprised to see her kill zombies with a knife when he has been using a gun. She is the one who tells him you can kill them by stabbing them through both eyes and bashing their head in – she’s the one who has been getting up close and personal with the zombies while he’s been taking them out from a relatively safe distance.This book is relatively unique by having a disabled person as the protagonist. She is neurologically atypical, mentally ill, suffering from depression, paranoia and obsessive tendencies. Since we see things through her eyes we actually have an excellent portrayal of what that can mean and how those can manifest – as well as what she does because of them. We get her anger, her emotions, her thought processes and the difficulties she faced in the world – and continues to face.Read More