Updated: Feb 24
I cannot recommend this book enough... But it also comes with a warning.
They All Died Screaming is one of the darkest books, I’ve ever read. It’s not the violence or extreme sex earning it this title, although there is plenty of that. It’s the subject matter, and how it leaves you feeling gross and shocked that people like this exist in real life. At the same time, you can’t help but feel bad for the tragedies that turned them into what they became.
The year is 2020 and a pandemic has hit. It’s nothing like Covid-19 though. It’s called The Scream and once you get it, you can’t stop screaming. You keep howling until you go insane and die, alone or taking others with you. Things go downhill fast for society, and the story focuses on Chuck, a chronically unemployed pervert who joins a band of misfits to make his final stand during the apocalyptic plague.
Triana writes the best characters. You never know who you will meet in his stories, but they're always realistic and dynamic. In the case of They All Died Screaming, the characters are also scum in the eyes of society. Drunks, prostitutes, criminals. Not a hero in the bunch. Yet they're story is just as important as anyone else’s and deserves to be told.
There is a second story that runs parallel to the end of the world. The story of a young boy who has been kidnapped and forced to work on a farm with a demented old man. The boy grows to believe the lies the man tells him and goes along with his murderous intentions.
The pig farm crosses The Scream exposing a world full of monsters. Human monsters. What the reader comes to find is that even heroes have a dark side. That to me is the message of the novel. And Triana does an amazing job of blowing the reader's mind. The ending will have you questioning good and bad, and forcing you to think before you judge the next scumbag you see on the street. Because every scumbag has a story…