I Got What I Wanted (Barnes & Noble Press) by K.W. Beasley is the journal/manifesto of Wade, a history teacher with a doctorate in education who is a misanthropic prepper reveling in what he envisions as the impending downfall of humanity. Then the worst happens, and he and his wife Ashley become two of the few survivors left after a zombie apocalypse … of sorts.

In this near-future thriller, most everyone has consented to be microchipped for convenience sake — after all, the chips can help with a myriad of everyday tasks including tracking vital personal and health-related information, plus there’s all kinds of benefits to the military, so who wouldn’t one of their own? 

Well, the narrator of this journal, for one. Wade is one of the few who can see the truth and refuses to be chipped and controlled that way. If the privacy concerns weren’t already enough of a red flag, knowing that these microchips are being manufactured by the lowest bidder is cause for even graver concern. As they say, you get what you pay for; and then some.

DOOM, GLOOM, AND HUMOR

Wade acknowledges that there may be no future reader to appreciate his intelligence and foresight in stockpiling weapons, food and water against the forthcoming end times, but it turned out that he was right — the apocalypse came during his lifetime — and it was those darn microchips that did it. Deep within their coding is a dangerous virus, one that turns people into zombie-like monsters Wade nicknames “BND” or “but not dead.” 

Wade coins the phrase “bug in” as the opposite of “bug out” and explains exactly how he and Ashley are forced to do just that at the beginning of the story, which succeeds in creating a feeling of claustrophobia with its tight focus on the two characters. The few characters who later enter the melee with them tend to exit quickly, either joining the zombie horde or going off onto their own, undocumented adventures. 

The fear level is kept high throughout this quick read as the zombie plague spreads exponentially and Wade, Ashley and Lila try to get to a prearranged safe space to hunker down with their supplies. The explanation of the spread of the zombie plague is unique, involving hacking among other things, but even those without chips aren’t safe from being contaminated. 

The novel isn’t all doom and gloom, though; it has its moments of humor, such as when the narrator’s wife Ashley fights zombies with their Yorkipoo Lila strapped to her back.

WHAT COMES AFTER THE END OF THE WORLD?

If some of the novel reads rather like it has been culled from paranoid comments on news stories and tends to spill a bit over the top, it’s likely no accident. In a recent interview, Beasley says, “A lot of my research came from being a high school teacher for eight years and a lover of everything apocalypse. I have read and watched everything I could get my hands on over the years not really for research, but just because it fascinated me.” 

Conceptually, I Got What I Wanted asks the reader provocative questions: Are you as prepared as you think for disaster? Have you considered what you would actually do when faced with it? How would you react? How do you prepare for the unforeseeable and unknown? And for those who long for destruction in order to build society anew, would you be ready to deal with the consequences of getting what you wanted?

Learn more about Beasley on his BookTrib author profile page.

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K.W. Beasley is a previous history teacher and lover of everything apocalypse. He is currently working in his second-favorite field, construction, after doing an 8-year tour in the classroom teaching social studies to highschoolers. He has four degrees with the latest one being a doctorate in educational leadership. He values education and learning above all else and loves being able to teach something to someone who genuinely wants to learn. He is currently working on the second journal of this series.