My second last book of 2012, I finished this just after Christmas. Adam Baker's Outpost had been sitting in my Amazon Wishlist for a number of months, waiting patiently. Then, thanks to a Chapters giftcard from my good friend, Ms. Doodles, I finally downloaded the ebook version and dove in. I had trouble putting this down. I found myself praying my boss would go to meetings so I could whip through a couple of pages at my desk when I had some downtime (and even when I was busy!).
Quick synopsis from Amazon.ca: Kasker Rampart: a derelict refinery platform moored in the Arctic Ocean. A skeleton crew of fifteen fight boredom and despair as they wait for a relief ship to take them home. But the world beyond their frozen wasteland has gone to hell. Cities lie ravaged by a global pandemic. One by one TV channels die, replaced by silent wavebands. The Rampart crew are marooned. They must survive the long Arctic winter, then make their way home alone. They battle starvation and hypothermia, unaware that the deadly contagion that has devastated the world is heading their way...
POTENTIAL SPOILER... It wasn't until I was halfway through the book and completely engrossed in the survival story that the "zombie" portion began. At first, I was disappointed - I was really just looking for a fantastic survival story but it seemed that Baker was offering an interesting twist on the undead. I particularly enjoyed part of the story being told from the point of view of one of the newly infected crew members and the progress of the disease. My only real problem was that he while his version of zombies starts off well, he soon follows in the footsteps of just about every other undead tale out there: kill them with a blow to the head, slow moving, blah blah blah. And when they seem to start coordinating their movements and working with a hive mentality, there's no real explanation as to how or why; or why they're taking direction from a human who's not infected. Um... huh? Oh and enough of the nicknames for everyone. Just give them names.
Overall, I really enjoyed Outpost. It was the right story for me at the right time. There were some faults but for a first novel, I think it was quite well done. Apparently its part of a zombie trilogy he has planned - #2 Juggernaut and #3 Terminus. While I had my problems with the Outpost, it wasn't anywhere near as bad as my experience with Warren Fahy's Fragment so I'm willing to give Baker's second novel a try.