Euphoria-Z follows several main characters that take their own paths through the story. Towards the end their paths converge in a thrilling action scene that’s reminiscent of some Walking Dead episodes. Cooper is an athletic high school student that’s about to start his senior year when the outbreak happens. He takes it upon himself to help those in need. I suppose Cooper could be considered the main character as he’s the first to be introduced and one of the main story lines that intersect the rest. The other characters story lines seem to wander off, get absorbed by other characters stories or simply get killed off. There is a band of outlaw bikers (the 1% for those of you who know their biker lingo). These are degenerate, murderous, rapists that somehow survived the apocalypse and now seek to take advantage of everyone they come across. They’re only interest is to retrieve the comforts of their old criminal lives. Drugs, guns and women. Fortunately for them, they stumble upon all three which leave them free to pursue their other desire, revenge. Which sets them on a course to clash violently with the other characters in the story.
The characters are all well developed and some of them, mostly the bikers, were entertaining to read. The characters only flaws were the frivolous and sometimes childish conversations they would have with one another. Although the dialogue lacks depth the gore and state of decay of the zombie hordes that constantly surround the characters are described with excellent detail. The various states of rot and mutilation that the zombies were in were always amusing. Especially in the beginning of the story when people are first starting to turn. As in the title the disease that spreads puts people into a state of complete euphoria where they have a single minded desire to, essentially, party until they die. Once they die they have a ravenous hunger for flesh, but their earlier state of non-stop party leaves them in various states of indecency. Which is interesting and humorous in its concept and execution.
This is a great zombie horror tale, but it’s also a story of survival as it starts to dig into the nuts and bolts of living in a post-apocalyptic world. This is good and bad at times as the drama and character driven story, although engaging, is constantly broken up by long bits of technical development of the characters living situation; scavenging, fortifying a building, building an elevator. This is a fine addition to the zombie genre and I wouldn’t mind reading the next book in the Z series.