Monday, June 13, 2011

"Stay Dead: A Novel Of Survival" by Steve Wands (review)

(the following review is one I posted on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the book)

The scene was set in his previous work, "Stay Dead: The Stranger And Tunnel Rats". With this book, the author takes us back to life around Titan City and marshalls us into new territory in the zombie mythos. We're introduced to several sets of characters whose lives and pushed slowly, and painfully if not downright deadly for several of them, towards an ending that leaves the reader waiting for the next chapter.

I appreciate Wands' writing style and his approach to the material. He has no character that's too good (or too bad) to die. He paints a mental picture with his words that lets you easily imagine a world where people struggle just to get through the day, and night, without giving in to their despair at a world gone dead. His writing helps you connect with the heroes, and even the anti-heroes, and you feel for them. Whether it's a father looking past his children at a distant explosion or brothers trying to find their mother amidst the chaos of a zombie attack, you can't help but be touched by what they're going through.

And the best part (which I wish I could talk about here) is the backbone of the franchise; i.e., what has created the zombie apocalypse. Most (including myself) don't want to know WHY. Just give us the situation and let us go with it. But Wands gives us not an explanation but a hint, a teaser, as to why the dead walk. Even if he never goes beyond that one piece, he has given the reader enough to keep us coming back to find out more.

I have a scale on my podcast of rating things as a buy, a borrow or a don't bother. And I rate "Stay Dead: A Story Of Survival" as a borrow if not an outright buy. You want to read this. And, if you're like me, you'll want to read it agai