In the opening of The Dark Times by Dane Hatchell and P.A. Douglas there is an author’s note saying that some people think the apocalypse is a chance to start over and be part of a new utopia. The sad truth is that people don’t always change and a disaster can bring you closer to who you really are and for some that’s a scary thing. This note sold me on the book and it gives you a great idea of what to expect while reading it. People have an idea of how they would change when society collapses, but what they think they will become is not reality.
The main character in The Dark Times is an overweight cop named Rico who is down on his luck and drowning his sorrows in whiskey when the first wave of zombies arrive. Rico handles himself well, he kills some zombies and manages to save people and decides to turn his life around. He leaves his old life behind and hops on his Harley in search of a new beginning. He ends up in a small town in Texas and meets a junkie named Angie. Rico fights the urge to help her but when things go bad, Angie may be the only one that can help him.
Everyone thought that the first wave of zombies was a one time thing caused by a mysterious illness but six months later it starts again and this time its the end. Civilization collapses quickly and Rico and Angie have to work together to survive. Being a heroin addict, Angie is not the most reliable person but Rico has demons of his own and the only way they can both survive the zombies is to put their past lives in the past.
The Dark Times is a very dark book and not just because it’s the zombie apocalypse and the end of civilization as we know it. This book is dark because it takes a look at human nature and asks the question: can a person get past their personal demons in order to survive? Every character in The Dark Times has a dark side and they have to confront that dark side to survive in the zombie apocalypse. The characters are what makes this book good, they are all complex and it was interesting to see how they change during the apocalypse. What really distinguishes this book from other zombie books is the depth to the characters, I found myself rooting for even the bad guys in this story.
There were some things that I didn’t like about this book, for instance there were a few scenes with a group of soldiers that seemed random and took away from the story. There was also an African-American character named Quinn that was so stereotypical it annoyed me. All in all though this is a good book and worth your time, it was interesting how some of the characters didn’t change at all as their world collapses. The Dark Times is a good look at how people change or don’t change when faced with the end of the world. There are a lot of books out there on the zombie apocalypse but few of them have as good of characters as this one.