Lori Whitwam's The Dead Survive was a little different than I expected. Yes, I've been reading a lot of zombie at the moment, perhaps overdosing on it. But I thought I'd give this a try.
The story starts at the beginning of the zompocolypse. It was handled differently to a lot that I've read in books and seen in movies. It focused on people and behavior. If you've seen the recent Schwarzenegger vehicle "Maggie" you'll know what I'm talking about. People are trying to keep stores open. Civilization is trying to survive.
Then the shit hits the fan.
For the majority of the first half of the book, there is no real zombie action. If you're looking for arm biting and head shots, then you'll be sadly disappointed.
But if you want the hard-hitting, brutally real downfall of humanity, then yeah, you'll find it here.
I'm not going to lie. It's a hard read. It's certainly not only not for children, but also not for the faint-hearted. It's exceptionally well written. You'll be captivated by it. Won't be able to put it down. An amazing read to be sure.
At the half way mark, I did think the author was going to slip. It suddenly seemed like it was going to go all Twilight on me. But Whitwam reigns it back in, and ramps up the emotion (if you could believe it could be ramped up further) and smashes it out the park.
Whitwam's characterization is what makes the story. The protagonist, antagonist, the would-be could-be wasn't antagonist...hell, even the dog. It's a masterclass is characterization within a traditionally hard to character sub-genre.
If you're writing zombie, read this.
The end is heartbreaking, action packed, and left me wanting more. Dammit. Another book on my to-read list. Yes, the sequel is already out.
You can purchase the book from Amazon UK here, Amazon US here, and find out more about the author here.