First published back in January of 2023, David Moody’s novel ‘Autumn: Exodus’ formed the third and final book from the ‘London Trilogy’, which was a separate spinoff trilogy from the author’s original ‘Autumn’ series.

The trilogy was first released as limited edition hardbacks of two-hundred hand-numbered copies. The limited edition hardbacks each contained bonus material at the end of the books, where Moody provides a handful of candidly written pages offering a heap of insight into the writing behind the ‘Autumn’ books.

Following the individual publications of the three ‘London Trilogy’ books, in October 2023 an omnibus edition was released which collected together all three instalments, along with additional short stories from the series, into one giant 840 page edition.

DLS Synopsis:
The remaining survivors of the Monument group had hidden away within the thick-walled confines of the Tower of London, whilst the once great city around them burnt to the ground. With humanity now all but gone, the fire that raged on the other side of those impenetrable stone walls went unchallenged for days on end. The undead as much fuel for the raging inferno as everything else the flames consumed.

Once the flames had finally died down, the survivors knew it was time to move on. London was clearly no longer the safe haven the group had hoped it would become. No longer the promised sanctuary politician Dominic Grove had tried to convince them all it would one day provide.

Luckily, they didn’t have to listen to the slimy ex-politician’s wafer-thin promises any longer, as Dominic and his thuggish second-in-command Piotr had long-since fled, taking the boat, supplies and a handful of others with them. 

Armed with whatever they could carry, the survivors cast open the Tower of London’s great doors one final time and ventured out into the mass of smouldering rot and decay. The Thames provided the survivors with safest exit from London, although even that route soon prove to be a short-lived plan.

The Monument survivors now face the colossal ordeal with attempting to navigate the post-apocalyptic landscape, whilst searching for a safer refuge to haul up within. Somewhere they might finally be able to settle down within. A place they might actually call home. A place like Ledsey Cross.

But their already treacherous pilgrimage will put them up against more than just the hordes of undead. Although Piotr had upped and left them all, he hadn’t gone far. And he’s not finished with them. Not by a long shot.

The time for the survivors’ exodus has come. But the road to their promised sanctuary will be one that’s drenched in blood, sweat, rot, and loss…

DLS Review:
Here we have it. The final book of the trilogy. The survivors’ exodus from London and the gargantuous trek up north to the one place they never gave up on - Ledsey Cross. It’s felt like the previous two books were really gearing up for this post-apocalyptic quest to the promised land, ever since day one. And now it’s here and holy shit does Moody dowse the plot with an unrelenting sense of urgency.

From the very first chapter of the book we’re subjected to a fast-paced and adrenaline-fueled storyline, pumped with mass zombie slaughtering and nasty fuckery from our old pal Piotr. Interestingly the sleaze-ball – Dominic Grove – takes a bit of a backseat compared to Piotr in this final instalment. That’s not to say the ex-politician doesn’t still get his untrustworthy mitts into the developing plot on more than a few occasions. However, that’s nothing compared with the vengeful wrath Piotr will unleash time and again on the remaining survivors from the Monument group.

What we have with this final instalment is a relatively linear storyline, which follows the survivors on their trek up north, leaping from one chaotically violent scenario to the next. The numbers of the survivors have thinned out some more now, and they continue to decrease at each and every juncture along this treacherous trip.

Of course, we still have the majority of the faces we’ve come to know and love along the way. And their bond with each other can be seen now more clearly than perhaps it had in the previous two books. Although, in this final instalment Moody has focussed more on the escalating storyline and the collective danger faced by all – rather than homing in on any one or two characters in these final stages.

With the plot of this last book basically a road trip with some pretty explosive stop-offs along the way, the near-constant movement of the piece offers up the opportunity for a story packed to the rafters with nail-biting action. And that’s exactly what Moody delivers.

The undead are of course present and involved throughout the novel. Indeed, they play their part throughout. Indeed, their presence is more than just a zombie backdrop, but one in which Moody utilises the shuffling dead as a constant and consistent tool to the horror/thriller of the overall piece.

However, at the forefront of this is the desperate plight of the survivors and how they will cope with the journey Northwards. It’s really a story about those that have managed to make it this far, and how they are now coming together for one final push for somewhere to call home. One desperate final trek to secure their fate with. A journey that will see them split apart and tempted by a variety of potential sanctuaries along the journey.

I’ll be honest, from the outset you can kind of guess the direction this book is going in. Yes, the overarching thrust of the book isn’t exactly drenched in the unknown. Nevertheless, what it does offer up is one hell of an eventful and action-packed story along the way.

This final instalment is packed-to-the-rafters with fast-and-furious scenes of desperation and violence, intermingled with loss and betrayal. Nowhere seems safe. Not even for a second. Along this treacherous final journey, characters are killed off in the blink of an eye. Moody shows no mercy for anyone, as this final desperate attempt for survival plays out in this brutally unforgiving final plight.

It’s feels like ‘The Walking Dead’ (2003 - 2019) ramped up to eleven and then some. This is surviving through the zombie apocalypse on your hands and knees. This is hardship, desperation and revenge all rolled up into one final instalment. And ultimately, it’s a stark reminder of humanities inevitable need to cling to the last vestiges of hope when all else seems lost.

The novel runs for a total of 301 pages.

The End Was The Beginning – 11 Pages
[Limited Edition Hardback – Bonus Material]
For this final insight into the ‘Autumn’ series, Moody turns his attention to what is undoubtedly the single most important driver of his books – the characters themselves. Here he talks about the importance of relatable characters and how these stories are, quite simplistically put, a succession of things going wrong until something finally goes right for them.

Moody highlights how in the Autumn books, people survive the infection purely by chance, which allowed him to cast a vast array of different characters to see how they’d each fare in the post-apocalyptic world.

Moody offers up an incredibly candid account of the impact his recent heart attack had on his writing and the new perspective it afforded to the characters. He talks about his early informative years in English lessons, when he studied ‘The Canterbury Tales’ (1392), and how the concept behind those collective viewpoints eventually found their way into his own work.

It’s an incredibly informative insight into the ‘Autumn’ books, Moody’s writing, inspiration and motivation. Honestly, these bonus sections have been as much of a joy to read, as the story they accompanied.

© DLS Reviews

‘Autumn’ instalments:


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