Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy has drawn almost uniform acclaim, including several award nominations. Her When Will You Rise is an offshoot of that trilogy, containing two stories that take place early on, before the trilogy proper.
We're more than happy to share Publishers Weekly's starred review with you:
Here the wonderful novella ‘Countdown’ rewinds to the origin of the plague and details the collision of the nascent cure for the common cold with a prototype cancer remedy, creating the perfect biological stew that birthed the walking dead. Also included is the unrelated short story ‘Apocalypse Scenario No. 683: The Box,’ the tale of how an innocent game played by old friends turns serious when medical research is turned against humankind. In both stories, Grant excels in humanizing her characters and surrounding them with believable science and circumstances. The surefooted storytelling is mesmerizing as all-too-plausible dilemmas snowball into desperation and catastrophe.