I had the pleasure of reading the first installment of the Necropolis Trilogy, and now I get to review the second one, namely The Contained. Sean Deville is at it again, bringing his very technical zombie story into its second phase. His web of characters continues to spread and a few more surprises are waiting if you loved Cobra Z. And once again, Deville doesn’t slack on his precise style of storytelling.
The Contained picks up where the virus outbreak continues to destroy the United Kingdom. The country is literally being quarantined from the rest of the world, and the American government is being warned that martial law might become a necessary option if the problem can’t be contained. Within a few days of the virus spreading, everyone knew things would never be the same again.
At the helm of the problem are several characters, situated in different challenging positions. Some of them are familiar, like Major David Croft, and others are new, like Rachel, a flesh-eating monster with more than just feasting on the brain. And as the UK crumbles, these civilians, government officials, and military agents try to survive the onslaught.
In the first review, I did of the trilogy, I noted that Deville is very proficient with his writing skills. I had no doubt that he would use the same quality with the second book, and I was right on the money. This is not the type of story you’ll find under the easy reading section because it pleads for all your attention. Given that there are many characters to follow, and the plot is thick with political and military detail, you want to switch off the phone if you plan on reading this one.
This part of the trilogy doesn’t really speak to a central character as much as it focuses on the fight to survive. In fact, it felt a little more technical than Cobra Z. While Deville has no problem selling his characters and all their twitches, it seemed like he leaned more towards exploring the realistic consequences of an outbreak. I would’ve liked to connect more with the characters, but the complexity of the plot makes a little difficult at times.
Nevertheless, Deville is stunningly creative while maintaining his urge to keep things simple. He switches between perspectives quite well, especially when entering the mind of an infected, and he doesn’t make his job easier with all the complexities surrounding the virus outbreak. He covers all the details and lays down a very convincing plot.
In terms of style, Deville prefers a sophisticated and professional approach. When you read his book you’ll know a lot of effort went into making a solid story with more than enough action. He’s spot on with the gory details, the cast of characters are diverse, and you don’t really know what’s coming next.
I’d recommend The Contained to readers who love making their brain work while they read. When you finish that last page it will probably feel like you ran a marathon, because it’s just that intense once you get into it.
Reviewed by Damnetha Jules
Damnetha is a staff writer, horror book and movie critic.
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