Book Review: Diaries of the Damned by Alex Laybourne

Ebook CoverTitle: Diaries of the Damned

Author: Alex Laybourne

Genre: Horror, Zombies

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 4,5 out of 5 stars

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

The dead have risen and a desperate struggle for power has begun. The military are evacuating all survivors in passenger planes. With their destination unknown, one group of survivors led by a journalist named Paul Larkin, decide to share their experiences with the hope that when combined, their stories will reveal some answers that the government had not been willing to give themselves.

Nine survivors have banded together, determined to tell their tale of survival. None of them realized that as they stood to tell their tales that they stood on the brink of discovering a conspiracy the likes of which the world has never seen.

Diaries of the Damned tells us the story of the damned, of the survivors narrowly escaping the zombie apocalypse. Paul, a wannabe fiction author who worked as a journalist in a previous life – the life he led before his family turned into zombies – goes aboard an airplane destined to take them to their salvation, away from the devastation of a city that was once Norwich, but is now infected with the undead.  Paul feels numbed, unable to feel anything after losing the ones dear to him. He rescues the plane’s stewardess, Jessica, when she attempts a suicide. The two of them start talking, and Jessica suggests Paul embraces his long-time dream of being an author, and starts by writing down the stories of the survivors on the airplane.

One by one, the survivors start talking, and pieces of the puzzle are revealed. First up is Jessica, the flight attendent, who barely knew about the zombie outbreak until it was almost too late.  Next is Leon, a paramedic who went to search for his daughter when the virus first broke out. Kind of like the Canterbury tales, each of the survivor’s unique stories make up a smaller story within the larger story. The most memorable stories were Roberts, Tracey and Allen’s, and Neil’s. As each story is told, we see a unique aspect of the zombie outbreak, until we find out more about the origin of the virus that started the flu that was the beginning of the end. We also learn about the characters, about what it takes to survive in a world turning against you, about what it means to live while everyone you’ve ever loved, has passed away.

The story is complicated enough that you don’t figure out the origins of the virus, or how the outbreak started, right away. It’s a compelling story about human survival, about how far we’re willing to go to survive. There is plenty of horror too though. Especially Robert’s story was rather horrific. Either way, these zombies aren’t the ones you encounter in the movies. They’re darker, their emotions and actions more human. And that makes them all the more dangerous.

The author isn’t afraid to kill off characters, which is a must in books this dark, and actually made it a more intriguing read for me. He’s not afraid to go into really dark territory either.

The writing was solid, the survivors offer compelling stories, and there are some huge surprises and plot twists throughout the novel that kept me thoroughly entertained. It’s been a long time since zombies entertained me as much as these ones did. If you like zombies and/or horror, Diaries of the Damned needs to be added to your reading pile.



  1. Thanks for he great review 🙂

  2. This one sounds good too. It doesn’t seem too predictable and I love survival stories in an apocalypse. May have to buy this one too. 🙂

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