Post-apocalyptic stories are, by far, among my favorites to read, perhaps because it’s a hypothetical possibility that could still occur in our future. From zombies to biological warfare, many stories offer a new perspective on the end of the world and William Meikle’s Fungoid is no different.
Fungoid takes place in Canada and encompasses a wide range of characters and their interactions with one another and other individuals after the apocalypse falls upon the world in the form of a fungal outbreak, only in this case, the fungal epidemic appears to have a mind of its own as it voraciously consumes humanity. Those who manage to survive are left to fend for themselves as they search for a way to overcome their fates when all odds are against them.
Sometimes, a wide range of characters works. Other times, it doesn’t. In this case, it does, when says a lot for Meikle’s talent as a writer: his characters are well-developed and each possess their own distinct personalities. None of these characters are perfect: they have their own flaws and faults, and, in the true nature of horror, they aren’t all good. The portrayal of a villainous character’s decline from normality to the ultimate evil is often skipped over in favor of shining the spotlight on the heroes of a story. Meikle’s unfortunate villain is spared no detail, and as a reader I was glad to find myself not only bewildered and frustrated by this character, but also found myself feeling sadness and sympathy for them.
The story is extremely fast paced, leaving little room for breathing as you flip through the pages. Given that the book is actually fairly short, it serves as a perfect read for a rainy afternoon inside. There’s no shortage of action which is a necessity in a world where many people simply do not have the time to divulge to reading a thick, slower paced book. Meikle’s writing is filled with twists and turns, where his characters are given a plausible route of escape or survival, only to find themselves forced to overcome obstacles that threaten to end their very lives.
Fungoid is a definite, must-read for fans of the horror genre, especially if you’re looking for a new way of approaching the end of the world.
I would like to thank DarkFuse, William Meikle, and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.