I considered putting this thread in The Round Table, but since it relates specifically to research for a novel, I thought I might get some better feedback from those interested in literature here. As the title of the thread states, I'm writing a novel. Since I don't have much in the way of social groups in "the real world," I'd appreciate any feedback I can get from this forum.
In short, my novel is the story of a mentally ill and physically disabled combat veteran fighting to protect those he loves in the midst of a pseudo-zombie apocalypse in Colorado Springs. Vincent Achan lost everyone he cared about shortly after being medically retired from the U.S. Army for injuries sustained in combat. He spent the following six years working and living in a homeless shelter under the guidance of his friend, mentor, and boss, "Padre" MacDougall.
When a terrorist attack in Colorado Springs sends the city into chaos, Vincent's priority is to save those he loves from the zombie-like victims of a biological weapon and the mercenaries combing the city to contain the situation. As events progress, Vincent uncovers a plot involving shadow organizations bent on national and global domination, and it falls upon Vincent to rally the survivors, expose the perpetrators, and keep himself from falling victim to the "demons" in his own mind.
What I've discovered in writing this novel is that it's incredibly difficult to engineer a zombie apocalypse in a believable way. I've had to enter into the territory of conspiracy theories and attempt to create a conspiracy that is plausible, however improbable it might be.
What I've come up with is a near-future (meaning ~50 years) scenario in which there is a private military monopoly conglomerate, akin to Resident Evil's "Umbrella Corporation." The leaders conspire with a corrupt segment in the federal government to essentially create a coup, using a black flag operation that will ultimately leave the blame with a terrorist organization. The War on Terror would escalate, the corrupt government officials would (in their view) be able to use previously untapped latitude in dealing with threats to the U.S., and the conglomerate of companies would be made more wealthy and influential.
I struggle with using such a plot because it seems like it might be too far-fetched. I thought my "zombies" would be the unbelievable part, but as it turns out, it's easier to create a biological agent that makes a person behave like a zombie than I thought it would be. The struggle isn't the pathogen, but the means by which that pathogen is inserted into the populace.
If you're still with me at this point, my question to you is whether you feel the series would be too complicated to follow, too unbelievable (even for the zombie sci-fi genre), or if you think it might actually work to tell a good story.