First of I like the premise of being trapped in a foreign dictatorship with zombies it ups the ante. The different narrative voices (including BBC news that knows nothing, a high up Korean who knows most things to a Westerner who knows a bit less) are useful for showing a complete and realistic narrative from the outside world that knows nothing, to a high up Korean. The Short chapters and light description make it easier to read. A quaint point is not using term zombies for most of the book but hungry ghosts which I think shows how western culture has not penetrated myths yet although I feel foreigners should have realised sooner. Plenty of tension as zombies sprint, the heroes are hunted by the military which is the only thing to survive as the country is that deprived there is little to fight back which is again an interesting insight into North Korean life. In fact setting the book in North Korea is probably the best thing about the book as it enables it to have a unique political setting. Thankfully there is only a small attempt at explaining the zombies and it’s a different cause to normal- Korean scientists tried to make elite live longer but virus reacted with disease people already had and spread through sex as well (in dormant state). However all the positives aside I found a fair few negatives.
The use of exact times in early chapters is irrelevant as nothing happens later on that day. I feel there is too many foreign hospital staff introduced near start who just end up dead with little character development. Military men seem to be beaten easily and there is one instance where someone survives unrealistically. There is little character development mainly on Major Han who is by far the most entertaining as she becomes more likeable but still keeps some of her secretive cold hearted nature that flares up sometimes. The plot is predictable in places from having to get a code of old boss to huge amount of zombies at the end battle. The end should have had zombies either showing more intelligence to make the battle tenser or the soldiers lying around everywhere are just playing dead or perhaps have one of the virus vials effect one of escapees.
Overall this was a good but which showed lots of promise with its North Korean approach but needed to focus on this more to make up for lack of character development, clichés and similar faults.