“This time he had humans to worry about. They were far more conniving than the undead.”
– Pembroke Sinclair
A Review by Linnéa Ryan
Over the past decade, fictional zombie outbreaks have dominated the page and screen. You know the played out trope—unlikely hero is called upon to defend their ragtag group of fellow survivors from the brain-biting hordes. The presence of these apocalyptic tales has saturated the zeitgeist and inspired many inventive people to theorize what their chances of survival would be if somehow these worlds of fiction ever became reality. However few ever dare to stretch their imagination beyond the initial outbreak. So what happens after the end of the world? This is the infinitely more interesting question that Pembroke Sinclair has taken to task in Humanity’s Hope.
The novel follows the story of a dispirited teenager named Caleb who is struggling to rebuild his life after the events of a zombie outbreak. The biggest company in zombie research, Zomtech, hires Caleb to work on their computer programs. Just as he’s beginning to find some semblance of normality in his new life, Caleb witnesses the gruesome murder of a neighbor and realizes that perhaps the so-called civilization of the city isn’t as safe as he thought. Caleb finds himself reluctantly drawn into the seedy underbelly of the new urban order. His quest for answers leads him to a startling revelation that will alter his life irreparably.
While Humanity’s Hope is centered around the aftermath a zombie outbreak, it’s the novel’s attention to mental health and recovery from trauma that overshadows the plot as its main focus. Readers will find themselves drawn to Caleb’s plight and his crippling mistrust of his fellow man. The book explores what physical and mental trauma would endure after the apocalypse has been thwarted and order has begun to be restored to society. This is one of the most interesting facets of the novel– this exploration of how when the fight against the living dead ends, the fight to find the will to live again begins.
Pembroke Sinclair’s writing is simple and to the point but the unique complexity of their take on the apocalyptic genre is what will keep you reading. If you’re sick of the overused zombie apocalypse trope, give this book a try and explore the creative possibilities of what it takes to rebuild society after the world has come to an end.
More information about Pembroke Sinclair can be found here.