Salby Evolution is the sequel to Ian D. Moore’s debut novel, Salby Damned. Simon Lloyd, infected in the first wave of the SALBY virus, escapes aboard a cargo freighter hours before nation-wide quarantine goes into effect. His only companion is Barbie, another infected, rescued from a mall toy store. Between them, isolated at sea, they slaughter the crew of the cargo ship in an orgy of rage. However, unlike the other infected, Simon and Barbie don’t die in the aftermath of their killing frenzy, but instead survive – altered, strengthened, and sought-after by their own government and every other.
This sequel work proved to be a much better showcase for the author’s undeniable story-telling ability, with much of the extraneous detail that bogged down the initial book’s plot eradicated. Simon is for the most part an unlovable but plausibly imperfect character, and the pacing of the action in Salby Evolution is faster and more compelling. Leavened with the occasional presence of some of the original Salby Damned cast, Simon and Barbie’s flight across the North Sea and their subsequent adventures in Russia with the People’s Resistance Army pull in threads of military thriller to mesh with the classic zombie action, and tie up several loose ends from the first novel. Definitely an enjoyable read for thriller and zombie fans alike.