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Literature / The Becoming

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The Michaluk Virus is loose.

In the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, the Michaluk Virus has escaped the CDC, and its effects are widespread and devastating. The virus infects nearly everyone in its path, turning much of the population of the southeastern United States into homicidal cannibals. As society rapidly crumbles under the hordes of infected, three people–Ethan Bennett, a Memphis police officer; Cade Alton, his best friend and former IDF sharpshooter; and Brandt Evans, a lieutenant in the US Marines–band together against the oncoming crush of death and terror sweeping across the world.

As Cade, Brandt, and Ethan hole up in safe houses, others begin to join them in their bid for survival. When the infected attack and they’re forced to flee, one departs to Memphis in search of answers while the others escape south to Biloxi, where they encounter more danger than they bargained for. And in Memphis, the answers that one man finds are the last answers he wanted, answers that herald a horrific possibility that there may be more to this virus than first suspected.

The Becoming and its sequels are written by Jessica Meigs and published by Permuted Press. It is unrelated to a Steampunk webcomic of the same name.

The Series:

  1. The Becoming
  2. The Becoming: Brothers in Arms (novella)
  3. The Becoming: Ground Zero
  4. The Becoming: Revelations
  5. The Becoming: Origins (novella)
  6. Under Siege

Tropes present in this work:

  • Action Girl: Cade is extremely badass.
    • The second book introduces Remy, who is almost as formidable in her own way.
  • Anyone Can Die: Nikki in Ground Zero.
    • Followed by Gray in the Revelations. Subverted by Ethan getting his zombie-status cured.
  • Badass Israeli: Cade is an experienced Israeli soldier.
  • Conflict Ball: Revelations is about trying to kidnap a man who would have come along with them voluntarily.
  • Dark Action Girl: Alicia Day is ruthless, intelligent, and a foil for Cade.
  • Dark Secret: Brandt knows about what really caused the zombie apocalypse.
  • Dead All Along: Ethan's wife.
  • Death Seeker: Remy doesn't care whether she lives or dies, which surprises Ethan. Showing he doesn't know her at all (since this is something she freely admits to about everyone).
  • Dysfunction Junction: Starting in Ground Zero once romance starts getting involved.
  • Famed in Story: What happens to Ethan after the events of the first book.
  • Foil: Alicia Day is this for both Cade and Brandt.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Grayson is very jealous of Ethan, even before he discovers he's having sex with Remy.
  • Killed Off for Real: Virtually the entire supporting cast in the second book.
  • Love Triangle: One starts between Grayson, Remy, and Ethan in the second book. Remy, it turns out, had just been leading Grayson on.
  • Mordor: More or less what Atlanta has morphed into in the public consciousness due to being where the virus broke first.
  • Official Couple: Brandt and Cade.
    • Ethan and Remy move to become this in Revelations.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Ethan's quest to find his wife in Book 1#.
    • Seems to be a theme as it happens again in Book 2# with the trip to Atlanta.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Everyone's thought about what the trip to Atlanta will turn out to be. They're wrong.
  • Ship Sinking: Ethan and Cade in book 2# with a double of Like Brother and Sister.
  • Super-Soldier: How the Michaluk virus was created.
  • Undead Child: The fate of Ethan's niece.
    • They fight an entire hotel full of them in Revelations.
  • The Virus: The Michaluk Virus, of course, is the start of Z-Day.
  • World of Badass: An unusually rare trope for the zombie apocalypse. Everyone who survives, however, gradually becomes a badass of one form or another (or were one to begin with).
  • Villain Ball: Much of Alicia's actions are explained away as her being a good person driven insane by the super-soldier serum in her blood.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The premise, of course.