Literature: Time Of Death

In a few short days, 37 year old Emma Rossi’s hard work will finally pay off. She will don her cap and gown and graduate with a degree in nursing, but not before she loses her first patient and is confronted with a new reality. In Cape Coral, Florida, a storm approaches. The dead are coming back to life.

And they’re hungry.

Infection ravages the Eastern Seaboard with alarming speed while attempts to contain the spread of infection fail. Within days, a small pocket of panicked survivors are all that remain of civilization. Fighting to survive the zombie apocalypse alongside her husband Jake and their dog Daphne, Emma comes face-to-face with her worst nightmare.

Relying on snarky wit and sheer determination, she is forced to commit atrocious acts to protect her family and avoid joining the ranks of the undead.

Time of Death: Induction is author Shana Festa’s full-length novel debut. It is part of a larger series published by Permuted Press. Its sequel, Time of Death: Asylum was released on December 9, 2014.

This series contains the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Not quite yet but Emma makes it a point of training in shooting as well as other survival techniques after arriving at the military base.
    • Becomes a full-blown, albeit subdued, one in Asylum.
  • Action Survivor: Emma has an almost Sookie Stackhouse ability to survive situations untouched which kill everyone around her. She survives no less than three separate city-sized settlements being destroyed by zombies.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The residents of Asylum. Are all of them evil, just some, any of them whatsoever?
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Happens a couple of times. subverted with Jake.
  • Anyone Can Die: Seems to be the case. Subverted when Jake is revealed to have survived.
    • Is racheted up in the sequel as no less than two groups of survivors are wiped out to the man. Also, Jake's brother.
  • Author Avatar: An unusual example in the main character's dog is based on the author's RL one.
  • Badass Army: Almost unprecedented in zombie fiction is the fact the United States Army is presented as completely competent, intelligent, concerned with civilians, and working together. They still lose.
  • Been There, Shaped History: A rather dark example as Emma Rossi is there in the emergency room when the first zombie attacks begin. She's also there for several major events in the ensuing zombie war.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Verges on a Downer Ending. Sanibel Island and its community is destroyed by an outbreak but Emma, her husband, her brother-in-law, her dog, and sister-in-law all escape.
  • The Chick: Played with as Emma is definitely The Heart of her group but is also the most intelligent and level-headed one.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Happens more or less every time they find some place safe. The first time? A hurricane hits their well-fortified house.
    • To be fair, it is set in Florida.
      • Happens again in the finale when a lone survivor away from the rest of the group triggers the zombie outbreak which destroys their otherwise secure island and forces them on the run again.
  • Doomed Hometown: Emma's hometown is where the zombie apocalypse begins. You do the math.
  • Evil Army: Subverted resoundingly.
  • Good-Looking Privates: Jake and many of the men at the military base, according to Emma.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Jake and Emma's marriage is This suffers in the zombie apocalypse.
  • Happily Married: Jake and Emma. Their marriage suffers strain as well as a brief period where the other is thought dead due to the zombie apocalypse.
    • Appears to be officially no longer the case come the end of Asylum.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: Jake joining the Asylum military.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Subverted, again, for perhaps the first time in zombie fiction where the survivors all cooperate for the greater good.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted in the second book, much to Emma's distress.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Toting around a tiny little dog may not improve your chances for survival in a Zombie Apocalypse. Try telling Emma that.
  • Kick the Dog: Jake thinks they should leave behind Daphne because she's a burden. Almost becomes his Moral Event Horizon for dog lovers but he rescues her when she's in danger.
  • Hospital Hottie: Played with. Emma is a very attractive woman in her late thirties but otherwise normal.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than most zombie novels. Emma never loses her boundless optimism and it's hard to be completely depressed when there's a cute dog accompanying her everywhere.
  • Mood Whiplash: Has some genuinely hilarious laugh out-loud moments and a charmingly optimistic heroine, during the End Of The World.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Asylum has a number of rules designed to restrict women to cleaning, child-support, and other locations. As an educated and spunky nurse, Emma resents this.
  • The Pollyanna: Emma is relentlessly cheery.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Dog: Daphne. Played with as she's an adorable little Yorkie.
  • Sanity Slippage: Jake suffers from this.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Jake becomes increasingly controlling, nasty, and unpleasant as the books go on. Justified as he just lost his brother.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Who goes out in the middle of the zombie apocalypse to get some stuff from their car? A child who just lost her father and needed a keepsake, that's who.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Seems to be the case about Asylum.
  • The Virus: As with most zombie apocalypses lately. Subverted as it's actually caused by a type of gas.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Teased at. But averted.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Caused by a mysterious gas in the ground.
  • Zombie Infectee: They encounter a couple of them, one of whom hides their bite while insisting they weren't bitten. it ends how you'd expect.