The Reanimation of Edward Schuett by Derek J. Goodman starts with a man waking up in a Walmart, not knowing where he is, or what’s happening to him. As he lay on the floor, and eventually working his way to a standing position, he gets flashes of who he is and other random memories seemingly from his past. As he staggers through the store trying to remember some part of his life, he’s captured and put in a cage. Driven through old ruins of what used to be cities, Edward realizes there’s something different about him – and others realize it too. It’s been 50 years since “the uprising” Cities are rebuilding, order has been restored, and new government agencies have emerged to contain the zombies. Once word gets out about Edward’s existence, everybody wants a piece of him. But why? Edward Schuett is a zombie like no other. He speaks. Feels. He shows emotion, and is capable of coherent thinking. If that isn’t strange enough, he has an extraordinary ability to heal himself. Edward looks, acts and feels like a human – the “holy grail” of zombies, so to speak.
Taken to the CRS (Center for Reanimation Studies) doctors are intrigued by him and want to study him – find out if he really is what they think he is. A Z7 – a never before seen class of zombie, capable of unknown abilities. Some people want to help Edward. Some want him dead. All Edward wants is to find out what happened to him and his family, which leads to a post apocalyptic, cross country trek to find the truth.
I’ve read a lot of post apocalyptic fiction. To my fellow zombie readers out there, we know that most of the plots contain the usual “infection, chaos, survival” cycle. And that’s fine by me, that’s why I read them! But author Derek Goodman adds a new and different element to the zombie genre that breaks away from the traditional plot line. Humans are no longer the hunted, but become the hunters. Giving a “zed” a name and a personality with normal human emotions turns him into a pseudo-hero. You forget that he spent 50 years as a mindless, flesh-eating zombie, and are rooting for him to survive. Goodman’s writing style is very descriptive and leaves little that I couldn’t imagine or picture in my mind. There’s a steady progression of time that’s easy to follow and the characters encounter situations that seem logical and believable. I can almost imagine the world the way Goodman describes it 50 years post apocalypse.
I can honestly say, I don’t think I could point out very many negatives about The Reanimation of Edward Schuett. The explanation of the different classes of zombies felt a little rushed. There were quite a few details packed into a small section about the different zombies that I had to go back and reread that section a little slower to understand the differences. After I reread it, I realized that explaining the progression of the Reanimator Virus was needed to explain the “Z7”, but it really is just a small part of the book that didn’t require a lot of elaboration anyway. ( translation – I read too much into a part of the book that I didn’t need to!) The only other part I would mention is the ending. The book had a steady progression of time throughout until the climax near the end. All of a sudden weeks have passed, then a month. It just seemed to speed up, almost ending too fast, and leaving me wanting more (which actually could be perceived as a positive!).
Overall, I really enjoyed The Reanimation of Edward Schuett. I think it bridges a gap between several genres. I don’t think you need to necessarily be a zombie fan to read The Reanimation of Edward Schuett. It’s is a zombie book about one zombie, his quest for answers and his longing to belong to humanity again. If you’re looking for blood, guts, gore and zombie hordes, you won’t find them here. You will find a mix of drama, compassion, a little bit of mystery and even a little bit of romance thrown in (zombie sex? Hey, why not?)
Available on Amazon.