The world is at the mercy of the dead—and the dead have no mercy. Time has run out for the human race. A virus has decimated the planet by resurrecting the recently dead. Groups of displaced survivors gather together and roam the countryside, searching for a sanctuary. But what happens when the living dead aren’t the biggest threat to their survival? What happens when the living people are actually THE DEAD? A violent, gore filled zombie bonanza that feels like television’s Lost and Jericho have crashed head on into George A. Romero’s, Dawn of the Dead. A prodigious portion of character driven life in an apocalyptic setting, where there’s no place you can hide from THE DEAD!
The Dead by Robert Tozer is very much like an average zombie story. You have your survivors and you have your dead. Though the dead don’t really have much of a big part in the story, there is something strange about them.
The prologue was strong and really pulls you in. You learn of how the virus began to spread and where it came from. It’s very scary when you think about it as you read because the way it spread from pigs to humans is very likely. Think about the Mad Cow disease or the Avian Flu. Both diseases came from animals and reached past the animal/human boundary. Also, cats and their humans (people don’t own cats) can share upper respritory issues. These facts alone give the virus Tozer presents a realistic beginning. Even the scene where the doctor is observing infected is something I could see happening.
After the prologue, we meet a band of survivors months (I’m betting close to a year) after the outbreak reached past the hospitals and into the homes of mankind. Tozer presents the reader with a series of flashbacks of some of the key figures in the community. You see how they end up surviving and how they grouped together. The only person who remains most of a mystery is Spencer, the undeclared hero and leader (he’s not the leader, but he might as well be with all the people who like him).
Though I didn’t care for the main character, Spencer. He does show some faults as a person. He is reckless and does prefer to be alone. You do get a little bit of understanding about him close to 25% in. I do like where his story seems to be heading once the end appears. Perhaps there will be more of his history bleed through and maybe his actions of the past will come to light amongst his companions. And how is he going to do what he set out to do? These are questions hopefully the second book will answer.
I think if Tozer had wrote the first book on the beginnings of the community and then brought in this book, it would be stronger and help the reader sympathize and find a character to follow the apocalypse with. That said, it isn’t too difficult to find a character to follow, but it takes more time. For now, I found my character and it looks like he will have something really going on in the next book. For Booth, a pretty cool Canadian police officer turned right hand of Spencer, I’m hoping it has something to do with pre-zombie. Ooooo, the juiciness that could be.
If you want to know more about Tozer’s book, please check out his site: http://www.thedead.us/