by Glenn Bullion
originally published April 4th 2011 on Kindle
Paperback published January 7th 2013 by Permuted Press
It didn’t take long for the world to die. And it didn’t take long, either, for the dead to rise.
Born on the day everything ended, a world filled with the walking dead is the only one that Aaron knows. Kept in seclusion, his family teaches him the basics. How to read and write. How to survive.
Then Aaron makes a shocking discovery. The undead, who desire nothing but flesh, ignore him. It’s as if he’s invisible to them.
The survivors of the old suburb of Lexington call a high school their home. They live day to day, without any of the luxuries mankind used to enjoy. Samantha is a product of the new world. Alone, cold, looking out only for herself. She and the other residents of Lexington feel their hope dwindling. They need change. They need someone who can face the corpses. They need someone who can live in a city of the dead.
They need Aaron.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Zombie books tend to have a standard formula. I mean, it wouldn’t be a zombie book without the dead rising in some way, right? Usually the main character is forced into a struggle for survival. Should he go it along, or join a group? Keep moving, or hole up somewhere and fortify? While this book is no different in those aspects, I wouldn’t change a thing. Bullion brought his own twists to the classic, and I loved every minute of it!
The characters can make or break a book. In this case, they totally made it! Just don’t get attached to anyone, because who knows how long they’ll be around for. One of my first thoughts was “But… all the characters keep dying!” Bullion doesn’t just jump into the story twenty years down the line. He starts us off right in the thick of it, at the outbreak, and he doesn’t shy away from some essential death! And then, in walks Aaron. I love how modest and unassuming he is, and I gravitated to him much like the other survivors did. Samantha finds herself drawn to him too, unwittingly and reluctantly. Their awkward friendship was so great! Twenty three years after the ZA there haven’t been a lot of people around to practice being social with. Most apocalyptic stories I’ve read have forgotten to add this in, so it brought a touch of realism to the story. Nicely done, Glenn!
Most people read zombies for the creep factor. We like to be kept awake by things going bump in the night. I have to admit that there were parts of this that were too much for right before bed. The first night, I was reading late. I didn’t want to put it down! Finally, I turned out the lights and climbed the stairs to my bedroom. The house was pitch black, and the stairs creaked with every step. I crawled into bed, blanket pulled up to my chin (not even a toe peeking over the edge of the bed!) and peeled my eyelids back trying to get my eyes to adjust more quickly. I had two options. Turn on a hall light, admitting defeat, or read a chapter of something happy. Yup, I picked up another book. But when the sun rose again, and I confirmed that I was indeed still breathing, I went right back to Dead Living.
I know that this book is a standalone, but I can’t help but wish for a sequel. Not because this book isn’t well wrapped up at the end, but because I want to keep myself surrounded in the story. I’m going to miss these characters for sure!
A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been writing since I was twelve years old. There’s just something about creating a story that I like. I always try come up with something that hasn’t been done, or is unique in some way. It could be someone with demonic powers, or something much more simple, such as a person that zombies ignore. It’s fun to create a character, give him or her a personality and background, and watch them evolve through a story.
I’ve tried other subjects, but always drift back to horror and paranormal. There’s a reason why we keep going back to horror movies and books, why they’ve made fifty Friday the 13th movies. People like to be scared, but more than that, I think paranormal and horror stir the imagination like nothing else. We’re all just a little nervous to open that closet door at midnight, or look under the bed.
Ah, the zombie apocalypse. What would you do? Where would you go? What weapons would you carry? Fans of zombie fiction love to play the “what if” game. I’ve even caught people that weren’t exactly hardcore zombie fans tossing around ideas. It’s just one of those fun discussions, a way to let the imagination free.
I wrote a zombie novel, Dead Living, and I had to try to imagine exactly this idea, and give it life. What would rational (and not so rational) people do if the zombies came? I love to have this theoretical discussion, even though there are so many options and opinions on what the best course of action would be. The topic can almost dive into religious and political type heatedness.
I myself have changed opinions several times on what the best options would be. I used to think the idea of staying with a group was the best one. It makes sense. People can combine skills, watch out for each other. More hands means more things getting done. But, on the other hand, more people also means more things can go wrong. More people to feed, more people that can potentially become infected and destroy the entire group. So, solo or community? I’m honestly not sure myself. 🙂
I thought the basic idea of weaponry was generally agreed upon. Bladed weapons first, with firearms as a distant option. But some people think guns first, despite the noise. The bigger the gun, the more damage it causes, buying you more time to escape, scavenge, do whatever it is you have to do. I myself would favor a bladed weapon, one I could easily handle. Simple, and perhaps dull in the discussion, but when the zombies come, there’s nothing wrong with simple.
I’ve always enjoyed thinking about the location. Where would you want to go to bunker down? As much as I loved the Dawn of the Dead movie and remake, I always thought the idea of securing a shopping mall wasn’t a good one. I can only imagine how long it would take to actually secure an average-sized mall, with so many entrances and exits. The idea of supplies being near is a nice one, but that also draws more people. I’ve heard “I’d hole up at Walmart” so many times, and that itself is a problem. Everyone wants to wait the zombies out at Walmart. You’d have to fight off just as many humans as zombies just to get inside the place.
To be the absolute safest, I’d say you’d have to get away from the cities and suburbs. But this also draws its own problems. Moving away from these centers moves you away from supplies. I personally feel there’s a few hidden gems even in the thick of things. For example, not too far away from my own house is a state highway facility. They keep salt and trucks there for the roads, and the whole place is surrounded by a huge fence. It’s hidden down a hill, with only one way in, and surrounded by thick woods on three sides. I’ve always thought that would be a perfect place to hide out.
What do you think? What little tips and tricks do you have for the zombies?
Thanks very much to Glenn for stopping by today! Feel free to visit the other tour stops to see what’s up. http://www.xpressobooktours.
3 copies of Dead Living [winner’s choice of Print (US/Can) or eBook (INTL)]