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Primitive (2009)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Primitive (2009) The premise of this end of the world novel is that one day, at 4:30 in the afternoon, nearly everyone goes ape shit crazy. It's as if something has turned them all back into primitive cavemen, which is the theory that protagonist David Spires comes up with. Although his adoptive autistic son goes crazy and kills people at a special needs school, his wife and daughter also retain their intellect. They decide to leave Los Angeles for a more rural setting, mostly to get away from all the primitives. On the way they meet up with other people, including a gung-ho military guy, a college professor and a young neo-Nazi who's not at all happy that David is a Native American, which really doesn't add anything to the book other than to have someone for the neo-Nazi to hate. She hates his daughter, Emily, even more because she's a "half breed".

The family and other survivors make it to a cabin up in the mountains and are safe for a time--until they find out from a neighbor that the virus or whatever it is can still infect people who kept their minds. They all believe the reversion is due to the discovery of a "Neanderthal Gene" that was discovered in the news and that someone this got activated in everyone, reverting them back hundreds of thousands of years. Yet there turns out to be a decidedly supernatural element to all of this. At first it was sort of cool but it gets of control and changes the entire feel of the book. I was really enjoying this book, right until the very end, at which point it veers into familiar zombie territory and everything is wrapped up way too neatly. Also, the "Afterword" is needless and gives it a tagged on happy ending, which pretty much undoes the tone of the entire book.

Author: J.F. Gonzalez

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