Michele W. Miller’s first novel is a story about seven people united during a zombie invasion.
At first I thought, zombie-schmombie, been there, read that. But Miller’s novel has a twist: it’s a spoof on very specific Alcoholics Anonymous groups that distort the AA way of life into strict fanaticism.
Alcoholics by nature tend to rebel. If AA had rules most people wouldn’t stay. But in the cult group in Miller’s novel, there are vulnerable personalities that fell prey to the fanatics and their teachings. Through gallows humor and strong characters, Miller leads the reader on a journey through an Armageddon. As zombies storm Lexington Avenue, seven people find their way to each other, and together they dodge radiation, step over corpses, and try to suss out which people are alive, dead, or undead abominations
As the plot develops we wade through characters including a politician caught with his pants down and socks on. We meet lottery winners whose elation crumbles fast. In an apocalypse, one doesn’t have the luxury of spending sprees. Flammable objects explode, sending booms across the East River. Survivors make desperate decisions as the pervasive stench of bodies follows them. A woman fearing the zombie invasion scans her brain. Wouldn’t you try to remember what Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order SVU would do?
This small group of people, reminiscent of “Night of the Living Dead,” are left to unite with the strength in numbers theory. As with all character-driven plots we see the best and the worst of personalities.
This small group of survivors have one thing in common—they all carry the alcoholic gene. As they seek refuge they stumble upon a settlement of AA fanatics. Readers in recovery will laugh in all the right places but even if you’re not in AA, the story holds enough excitement to keep you turning the pages.
It’s a fast read and a fun ride.
“The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery” is available on Amazon and it was named 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist.