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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Igor Generalov dips his creative pen into zombie territory and elevates it into literary horror. Russian HellwayZ tells the story of eight men in a brigade: Yuri Sanych, Sergey Popov, Victor Mikhailov, Alex Redkin, Oleg Varlamov, Sanya Lapshunov, Farkhad the cook, and Mikhail Myakinin. Hired to work at the isolated island of Sengeisky, they become detached from civilization. The cold is fierce, and the job entails dismantling a drilling station. After five weeks, the truck that delivers their food doesn’t come, and two days before that, there is a complete communication shutdown. They can only do so much by improvising and maximizing whatever is at their disposal. As it becomes clear to them that something is not right, they set out to reach the capital, and they will have to work together as a zombie apocalypse team.
Igor Generalov delivers something unique in a time when we must all work together to battle a pandemic. If you think that Russian HellwayZ was written to do nothing but scare, think again. Yes, the zombie genre tells you that you have to shoot every undead in the head to make sure they don’t come back, but this novel takes it a notch higher by building on the concept of teamwork, even if the people on which your survival depends are highly unlikeable. It is a wildly engaging zombie novel that is a breath of fresh air from the common American setting. It strongly reflects the Russian ethos in camaraderie, where favors and opportunities are provided on the merits of emotional trust. If Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote a story about the undead, Russian HellwayZ would be the outcome, and it is a must-read for its fresh take on a horror sub-genre.