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19 April 2011

Dead Sea (2007)

I held off buying any of Brian Keene's books for a long time. I wasn't convinced that I was going to like them. It all stems from a bad encounter I had with a David Wellington novel by the name of "Monster Island" which quite frankly is a strong contender for the worst book I've ever had the misfortune of reading. The thing is... Keene and Wellington often appear in the same top ten zombie book lists that pepper the internet. Could they possibly be as bad as each other?

As an aside: Monster Island did have one thing going for it... It only cost me 1 pence! Yeah... I should have seen that one coming!

I recently did a bit of homework and read up on Brian, and I convinced myself that I should read one novel... but only the one. The novel I chose was 'Dead Sea'.

And here's the review...

Good news! Straight off the bat, I found myself enjoying the book. It's a fairly typical end-of-the-world Zombie Apocalypse story, but I found Brian's writing style engaging and the book is an easy read. The characters aren't too stereotypical and Brian does a good job of building up the back story. Even more pleasing is the fact that Brian has no problem with killing characters off at the drop of a hat.

I wouldn't say that I'm a religious zombie purist, but I do find that I have a low tolerance for stories that push the envelope too far. I really don't have much time for mystical mumbo-jumbo or levitation and all that paranormal nonsense. I'll go so far... and no further!

Brian has got a bit of a reputation for pushing the envelope in exactly the ways mentioned above. The question is... how far would he go with Dead Sea? I'm not going to reveal too much, but Brian does step outside of the confines of bog-standard zombie lore with Dead Sea... but not too far. Generally, he sticks pretty close to what you would expect. And even though he's constantly raising the ante with bigger and badder situations, I think he gets away with it. Well done Brian!

[Update: Yeah I know... forgot to tell you about the plot again! Doh! Well... black gay guy acquires 2 kids... gets rescued by bible-selling biker... All get rescued by a rag-tag band of survivors on a boat. They take to the sea... and hop from the frying pan into the fire... or is it the other way around? Read it yourself to find out!]

I brought this book away with me for some light holiday reading and that's exactly what I got. It's thoughtfully put together and on the whole, well written. I enjoyed it! On the Triple-B, I'm going to force some zombie-blood down your gullet with a worm-like 7. And if you think that things can only get better then I'm afraid this book's going to burst your bubble! We're all doomed!

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