Zombie, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are like shoes - you can never have enough.
I've said before that Jonathan Maberry is responsible for my zombie obsession, but what I don't think I have spoken about before is that Z.A. Recht's The Morningstar Strain series cemented my love for the undead. As soon as I had finished Maberry's Patient Zero, I went on a hunt for another zombie book, and the first one that I picked up was Plague of the Dead, way back in 2009. In preparation of reading the final book in the series, I decided to go back and read the first two books again, even though re-reading makes me nervous as hell.
Published before every author and his dog had a stab at writing a zombie book, Plague of the Dead captures every single thing about zombie books that I love - it starts with a bang and doesn't let up all the way through.
The plot itself is fairly straightforward, but what I love about this series is the amount of time put into building a plausible cause for the virus - and the fact there are two types of zombies - the carriers who transmit the virus without mercy and the true zombies - those that have died from the virus and re-animated, making for double danger and some pretty gruesome scenes.
There is a huge amount of focus on the collapse of the world - rather than just everything falling apart within a matter of days, the path of the virus is more closely tracked and explained, and although it is a gradual fall, the pace escalates along with the impact.
There are a bunch of varied characters, mostly focused around the military, but some civilians and medicos thrown in for good measure, and in Plague of the Dead, a lot of focus is put on the key characters and all of them are individual and realistic. One thing that I particularly enjoyed is that characters make mistakes that had me almost yelling at the book - all too often in apocalyptic stories the characters are either faultless or just plain stupid, whereas in Plague of the Dead the mistakes they make are driven by emotions which makes them very realistic.
I'm very glad I went back and read Plague of the Dead again - I was worried that time had put this book on a pedestal, but it was just as scary, intense and captivating as I remembered it to be - a book that should be a zombie classic.
Read more of my reviews atThe Aussie Zombie