Your Servants and Your People – The Walkin’ Trilogy #2 – David Towsey
Release date: November 6th, 2014
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Age Group: Adult
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
In a dystopian future the dead don’t always die – they are the Walkin’, but there are those that will not suffer the wicked to live . . .
Seven years after Thomas returned as a Walkin’, the McDermott family are pursuing a new life as they run from Barkley to the remote outpost of Fort Wilson. But the teachings of J.S. Barkley are not so easily forsaken – there are those that would see the sinners dead, and they are slowly closing in.
If you read my review for ‘Your Brother’s Blood’, the first book in the Walkin’ trilogy, you might know that I really enjoyed David Towsey’s approach of the zombie genre. ‘Your Borther’s Blood’ is an unconventional zombie story that doesn’t focus on the gore or the horror, but on the emotional struggle to be accepted by the society they once were a part of. I was especially fond of the strong father-daughter relationship that was portrayed there. Obviously I was very curious to see how the story would continue.
In ‘Your Servants and Your People’ we make a time-jump of several years.
The book takes its time to tell us what life is now like from two different points of view: that of the McDermotts and that of a young soldier called Bryn. Bryn is on his way with 4 other soldiers and their lieutenant to the mountains, relieving the soldiers stationed there at Fort Wilson. Meanwhile the McDermotts are trying to build a new life away from the judgement and harshness of others. The paths of the two sets of characters cross early on in the book, but both quickly go their own separate ways.
More so than in the first book I enjoyed the terminology for things that are familiar to us, but are things of the past in the time the McDermotts live in. Woolies, neats, blacktop and specks are just a few examples of the vocabulary our protagonists use.
It’s clear life hasn’t been easy on Thomas McDermott, his wife Sarah and their daughter Mary. The dynamic between Mary and her Walkin’ father has changed quite a lot in the years since ‘Your Brother’s Blood’. Growing up facing all the hardships her family has been trough, she has become a rather cold and detached person, though the love for her parents is still very much present. It was somehow very sad to see how much Mary had changed and how much everything had affected her. I absolutely adored Thomas’ character. Though life as a Walkin’ has made him a bit clueless as to how non-Walkin’ people can struggle and he though is in general a bit naïeve, his heart is in the right place. The most important thing for him is to make his family happy, especially after the treatment they have gotten for sticking with him all these years. Sarah has cocooned herself in a hard shell, not trusting anyone and trying to cope with their situation as best as she can. Sarah isn’t a very loveable character in this book, though her motives are understandable.
Bryn’s point of view gave us a whole different side of the story: the military side. Bryn is an intelligent farm boy who has the ambition of becoming a lieutenant. Bryn is still very young and it’s clear he has been quite shielded in the community he grew up in. In Fort Wilson he finds strength I’m sure he didn’t know he had, trying to survive. I liked his character a lot, because of his curiosity, the typical young, fresh look he has on life and his determination to do good.
The tone of ‘Your Servants and Your People’ is even darker than that of the first book. I wasn’t expecting it and the ending had me all twisted up inside. Despair is one word that would describe the last half of the book perfectly. Things in Fort Wilson escalate for the worse, leaving Bryn in the middle of a setting that would fit perfectly in a horror movie. The pace of the McDermott’s storyline in this book picks up immensely towards the end, climaxing on a few twists that left me breathless. It’s that kind of feeling where you desperately want someone, anyone to stop what is happening and make everything alright again.
‘Your Servants and Your People’ starts off slowly but builds up to an emotional and heart wrenching climax that will leave you thinking for days after you finished the book. With this powerful second book David Towsey has proven that he can take the fresh concept of the first book and create something more for his readers. He creates in-depth characters that aren’t set in stone, but can change profoundly with the course of time. He can make you care for them deeply, even though their actions might not always be the right ones. I would definitely recommend this series and I’m anxiously awaiting the final volume in the trilogy to find out what will happen next.