fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsJ.L. Bourne 2. Beyond ExileBeyond Exile by J.L. Bourne

Welcome back to the zombie apocalypse!

Your personal guide in this rotten wasteland is the still unnamed naval officer from Day by Day Armageddon. J.L. Bourne’s Beyond Exile starts immediately following the journal entry at the end of the first book with the narrator and his companions residing in a relatively secure location. Life has begun to feel somewhat normal. However, normalcy quickly deteriorates, and the places that were once safe are now death traps. With bravery, luck, and a little ingenuity they may just find a way to be safe again.

J.L. Bourne steps up his game in Beyond Exile and really weaves a great story. Bourne backs off a little from the “dear diary” premise of Day by Day Armageddon, and the story is no longer solely delivered through the journal entries. There are extended dialog and action sequences, neither of which is as prevalent in the first novel. Relaxing the rules of his first person narrative has allowed Bourne to tell his story in an exciting way. Bourne doesn’t hesitate to write dialog or give details that would not be normally be transcribed in someone’s journal. While I was pretty ho-hum about the first book, I found myself enjoying Beyond Exile a great deal. This is quality writing, and Bourne has taken the Zombie Apocalypse premise and has made a little niche of his own.

The narrator is a reluctant bad ass with a lot of heart and a good head on his shoulders. He is a very likeable character and he is easy to identify with. The drawback of the epistolary style is that the journal writer is really the only character you get to know.

Beyond Exile is a must read for zombie fans, and may likely provide an interesting diversion for non-undead aficionados too. I listened to Beyond Exile on audio CDs (Brilliance Audio). Once again, Jay Snyder who does an excellent job portraying Bourne’s narrator. Beyond Exile makes for a great listen, and audio may be the best way to experience the zombie apocalypse.

Day by Day Armageddon — (2004-2016) Publisher: Start intercept: Sporadic reports indicate chaos and violence spreading through U.S. cities. An unknown evil is sweeping the planet. The dead are rising to claim the Earth as the new dominant species in the food chain. Intercept complete. In your hands is the handwritten journal depicting one man’s struggle for survival. Trapped in the midst of global disaster, he must make decisions; choices that ultimately mean life, or the eternal curse to walk as one of them. Enter, if you will, into the world of the undead.

J.L. Bourne 1. Day by Day Armageddon 2. Beyond Exile J.L. Bourne 1. Day by Day Armageddon 2. Beyond Exile J.L. Bourne 1. Day by Day Armageddon 2. Beyond Exile 3. Shattered Hourglass fantasy and science fiction book reviews science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comic book and audiobook reviews


  • Justin Blazier

    JUSTIN BLAZIER (on FanLit's staff since September 2009) is a Cyber-Security Analyst/Network Engineer located in Northern Kentucky. Like many fantasy enthusiasts, Justin cut his teeth on authors like Tolkien, Anthony, and Lewis. Due to lack of space, his small public library would often give him their donated SFF books. When he is not reading books he is likely playing board games or Tabletop RPGs. Justin lives in a quiet neighborhood with his wife, their daughter, and Norman the dog.

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