One of the things I love about zombie novels is seeing how the characters learn to adapt and survive in an environment with an unknown menace. Chivalry is Undead depicted this well as the characters learned new survival skills. They studied the zombies carefully to determine their strengths and weaknesses. They figured out how to best protect themselves - duct tape! (Great idea, second only to a neoprene wetsuit featured in another zombie book I read recently.) Well, a great idea until a latter part of the book where parents were instructed to duct tape their children before themselves. No!! Anyone who has sat through a flight attendant's spiel about oxygen masks knows the cardinal rule - parents need to protect themselves first. But I digress...
It's difficult to find originality in this genre, and there is unfortunately not much new here. There were some aspects that grated. Characters frequently tell Stephen, the narrator, that he's a hero. He gets humble, acts embarrassed, and denies it. He repeatedly tells them he's not the leader. Maybe that's a leadership technique, but it became tiresome. I also did not love the love story between Stephen and Jessica that developed out of thin air. The unlikely couple falls in love quickly, which I guess may be possible (or even likely) during a zombie apocalypse. But the amount of "I love you's," "baby's," "honey's," and kissing would have been a lot for a romance novel, and it seemed extreme considering it was occurring during a zombie outbreak.
I enjoyed the non-dialogue writing, but some of the dialogue sections sounded awkward and melodramatic: "I will be your Jessie from now until the end of our days." "I'm no hero. I will do whatever it takes to help those I love." And so on.
On a positive note, there was a good deal of tension and some exciting scenes. The characters stayed on the move, preventing the story from getting stale and boring.
Random note: George Romero gets a shout-out, but did Robert Kirkman deserve one, too? The characters almost universally referred to the zombies as "zombies," except for a couple of occasions when the term "walkers" was used. I wasn't sure if this was an unconscious mistake on the author's part.