It’s ten years after the zombie apocalypse. Gone are the power gird, working vehicles, everything that makes modern civilization run. Barter has replaced money, and society has gone agrarian. Stace Tomlinson is hoping to become a ranger, those who patrol the forest with large knives and a bow and arrow. But she lacks confidence, which may leave her to a life of farm work and bearing children. She fails to shoot a slow-moving “buck,” a male zombie, that is on its last legs. All that changes when she and her father find themselves called to action in the face of an oncoming “swarm” with their settlement completely unprepared.
Nock is part of the “Year of the Zombie” from Infected Books. McGlasson’s novella is a study of quick world-building, sprinkling in the history from the point of view of a sixteen-year-old girl who has only known this life. We learn the fall, how people survive, and what they do with the zombies. Some are domesticated and put to work as beasts of burden. Others are “feral” and hunted by organized militias. But the core of the story is Stace, who begins worrying she’s not good enough to patrol for ferals. When the emergency comes, she steps up and learns what she is really capable of.