All the Tommys in the World by Javier Gombinsky is an apocalyptic zombie vs human vs ghoul story set on what seems to be an alternate-reality earth.
Horror YouTubers Lilith and Nathan love zombie movies…which is strange since an actual zombie uprising is happening right outside their front door.
When Lilith’s parents come to take them to the safety of their old hometown, Leatelranch, the two rebel and end up getting separated on the streets of New Southport.
For most of the book, Lilith and Nathan are separated, trying their best to survive. For Nathan, it means banding together with some very sick kids in a hospital, trying to find Lilith.
For Lilith, it means getting rescued by her parents who take her to Leatelranch. Only enroute, she starts to suspect something is wrong with her parents. Lilith’s visions are telling her nothing is as it seems, as she escapes her parents outside of Leatelranch, determined to find safety…and answers.
Leatelranch itself becomes a character in the book, as it is a town built around the largest cemetery in the world. Older than anyone Lilith knows, the town’s secrets could be the only thing that could keep her alive.
If only she could remember what happened when she was a child that caused her family to leave in the first place.
All the Tommys in the World is an ambitious book with a very elaborate original story. It features a lot of characters, and the author works hard to build the unique world the story takes place in.
Unfortunately the way the author chooses to tell his tale is confusing, as he chooses to use non-linear chapters that jump forward and backwards in time for flashbacks that seem to be randomly inserted in the story.
There are also huge time jumps in the story…literally years at points. And they don’t always make sense.
The author introduces a fascinating lore to why Leatelranch exists and details how it’s laid out…but then introduces some type of funeral ritual that is central to the story, without fully explaining what it is or why they do it.
I enjoyed the Leatelranch portions of the book more than the New Southport, but each section of the story requires huge leaps of faith to follow along and accept everything works just as the author writes it.
And while I don’t need “Happily Ever After” in my horror stories, the ending of the book was downright depressing, and kind of made the entire journey pointless.
It’s not a bad book, but it can take perseverance to get through it, and rewards the reader with sometimes baffling twists and details that are never fully explained. Plus, who adds a new set of characters right before the book ends?
I’m giving All the Tommys in the World by Javier Gombinsky 3 stars out of 5.
Disclaimer: I received an advance e-book copy for review purposes from NetGalley. I was not compensated in any other way. My opinion is honest, and as always, my own.
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Tagged: #Horror, All the Tommys in the World, book review, Javier Gombinsky, zombies