I am a firm believer there's no need for the current Zombie Renaissance to ever end. However, for this to be the case, every author must bring something new to the pot. People talk about George Romero-esque shamblers as if they are the only way you can do them. I've stated why I find this to be ridiculous (here).
Kirk Allmond is a guy who manages to impress me not necessarily because I agree with all of his choices but I appreciate the fact he bothers to do things differently. It's not so differently as Braineater Jones (reviewed here) but he doesn't just stick with the bog-standard formula either. There's zombies, there's an apocalypse, and a father is desperately trying to save his young son from dying.
Ho-hum, seen this before.
Some humans are immune to zombie infection, though.
Which gives them low-level superpowers.
*blink* Okay, color me intrigued.
Oh and some of the zombies are intelligent and capable of passing for human, effectively serving as a Fifth Column for whatever force is behind the rise of the zombies.
Okay, now you have a story.
The premise of What Zombies Fear is Victor Tookes is a father of a toddler named Max when the zombie apocalypse happens. Max is bitten early-on but Victor and his family have an inherent immunity to the bug which allows them to survive it as well as develop superpowers.
Victor suffers several tragedies over the course of the novel and decides to use his newfound abilities as well as those of other immune humans to build a refuge against the zombie hordes. Likewise, he's going to try and kill as many of them as possible.
Hence the title.
A Father's Quest is a pretty good bit of heroic fiction. Victor suffers some setbacks but the story follows him on a largely successful quest to carve out his own little fiefdom in the post-apocalyptic world.
Kirk Allmond spends a good amount of page-time describing the specifications of the fortress, what sort of weapons they have, and paying cursory attention to how they begin setting up their town. Much of the rest of the book is devoted to well-written action scenes where our heroes take the fight against the bands of zombies roaming the Earth.
If I have a problem with the book it's that the emotion of the events is somewhat muted. Our hero doesn't take much time to reflect on the personal losses he suffers and more or less just chugs along indefinitely. This isn't bad for the style of book this is but it did leave me a bit surprised.
In conclusion, I think What Zombies Fear: A Father's Quest is a nice little novel which I give points for originality as well as being of a different sort of feeling than many others. It's pretty upbeat and I think zombie novels which are other genres than horror are a great idea, personally. If we can have action movies with vampires, why not zombies?