–Reviewed by Zombie Zak
This is a damn fine book. It picks you up and keeps you going non-stop for a kaleidoscope cascade of zombie goodness! Jonathan, you, sir are a sick puppy! And I loved it.
There are real people in this book; they live, they breathe, they express fear, joy, horror, sorrow and distaste at the nature of the world. They have goals and aspirations and illusions of where life will take them or what it has in store for them. And throughout the entirety of this tale, there is and always will be, the threat of the modern world, and the horrors that we as a species are capable of coming up with. Oh, and zombies.
The Apocalypse, breaking bodies and souls at ground level, you got to keep running in order to stay ahead of the horde! The story starts with but a simple concept:
“A prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots. But, before he can be buried, the killer wakes up. Hungry. Infected. Contagious. Can two small town cops contain the plague before it spreads beyond all control?”
And from there it’s a mile a minute ride staying in tune with characters as they play out their dramas across the page. I was particularly enamored at how Jonathan consistently painted the picture of events with his choices of words. Each chapter, each event as it played out, was clear in my mind as to how and what was happening. It’s an intelligent, no nonsense take on what could happen if (or rather when) the zombie outbreak occurs.
I was also especially taken with the viewpoint of the one character – Doc Hartnup. The raw terror and emotional viscera that this character represented was dynamic, functional and truly inspired. The horror that he feels throughout the book is something that should touch a raw nerve upon anyone reading this story.
There is so much raw environmental detail that sticks and is woven into the actions and activities of each character and happenstance event that you don’t even notice that it’s being applied against the backdrop of the story. Each tidbit of information is tidily woven into events that it fits without being something that impacts the enjoyment of reading.
And The Hollow Men analogy and poem that is weaved in between the main arc is beautifully and exquisitely slipped in with a deftness that I have to admire.
One of the things that I like and respect about Jonathan is that he has a clear understanding of the (current) new media – that of social networking. He’s got an excellent grasp of it not only in the sense of how to write it, but also in how to market it. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, all that hullaballoo – Jonathan nails how it could/would work in this scenario.
And above that, he’s an approachable fellow who interacts with his readership. A number of people (whom you can find online in various areas if you search hard enough) are carefully sprinkled throughout the book. Knowing a couple of them, I was tickled pink seeing what torturous things Jonathan would do to and with them.
Dead of Night is an awesome book, well worth the reading. Reading it could make your brain bigger!
I rate it 5 cookies out of 5.
Very tasty! Om nom nom nom …
And go follow Jonathan at: http://jonathanmaberry.com/