(Cover picture courtesy of Prime Books.)
The living dead are more alive than ever! Zombies have become more than an iconic monster for the twenty-first century: they are now a phenomenon constantly revealing as much about ourselves – and our fascination with death, resurrection, and survival – as our love for the supernatural or post-apocalyptic speculation. Our most imaginative literary minds have been devoured by these incredible creatures and produced exciting, insightful, and unflinching new works of zombie fiction. We’ve again dug up the best stories published in the last few years and compiled them into an anthology to feed your insatiable hunger…
[Full disclosure: I requested and received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
I’ve been suffering from a severe case of Walking Dead withdrawal for a few months, so I figured that I might as well get back into that zombie kind of mood with a new anthology from some well-known authors. Jonathon Maberry, Neil Gaiman and so many more authors that I actually like were included in this anthology. Where could it go wrong?
Apparently, almost everywhere. This is a non-traditional zombie anthology, which I knew when I requested it. All of these zombies are either thinking zombies or just kind of dead shells of their former selves come back to life. I don’t mind reading about these types of zombies. It’s a newer (more terrifying in some ways) take on a creature that is a little over-hyped by pop culture. Of course, being that people are people, sometimes they would do disgusting things with these zombies: have sex with them, make them servants, etc. It’s sad to see that my faith in the worst impulses of humanity is still justified.
Except, by the end of the anthology, I was really, truly struggling to finish it. This is not a long book, by the way. It’s only 480 pages and it should not have taken me so long to finish, but I really had to force myself to keep reading about 2/3s of the way through. Why? Because, for the most part, it was boring. Most of the stories, even by authors that I really liked, were quite boring. Yes, they showcased the new type of zombie very well but some of them didn’t seem to have a point (or a plot) and still others were so boring that you forgot how the story began by the time you got to the end. It’s not like I have a short attention span, either.
None of the characters really stood out for me here and even though it’s only been a week since I read this, I couldn’t really name more than two or three of them. This anthology just did not pack the punch I’ve come to expect from authors like this. In the end, I was more disappointed than entertained, which is not something you want when you’ve just read through almost 500 pages.
I give this anthology 3/5 stars.