Zombies have wrecked Seattle (and I’m not talking about the early morning crowd at Starbucks), and a handful of Survivors traverse through town looking for safety, salvation, and the cure to it all…
Tim Long is a fascinating writer. His novel AMONG THE LIVING is a down and dirty joyride through the Zombie-wrecked streets of Seattle. The tale is told through the viewpoints of a few central characters (Mike, the journalist and Kate, a burgeoning serial killer, among others). At times touching, gory and darkly funny, ATL is the literary equivalent of grunge music.
The sequel, AMONG THE DEAD, picks up right where the first book left off, and doesn’t miss a beat. Everything that made the first book fun shows up here in spades. Mike, Lester, and Kate are all back, trying to survive and get out of Seattle. The zombies, or “deaders” as they are referred to, are always present. People are dropped in, only to be killed off as quickly as they came in.
ATD is a gleefully demented romp through the Zombie apocalypse. It doesn’t have a “big-picture’ kind of scope; instead, we experience the horror of the Apocalypse through the prism of each character. Mike, the journalist has a contemporary hero feel to him, while Kate (my favorite character) becomes a sheer badass. The characterizations are sneakily efficient, and you realize how fully fleshed out these main characters are. The dialogue is crisp and snappy in a Tarantino-esque kind of way.
The book is a very quick read, with small chapters, and this is ok, because there is an awful lot of power packed into a lean narrative. Usually, small chapters annoy me, but it works here.
The violence and carnage is brutal and thorough and absolutely spot on. This is still a zombie novel, and there is no skimping on the red stuff. Its obvious Tim enjoys the hell out of concocting his mayhem sequences, kind of like a kid with a magnifying glass over an anthill.
Just like AMONG THE LIVING (which I recommend you read, like, right now. After you finish reading this, of course), AMONG THE DEAD is a down and dirty genre romp. Tim tells the tale like he was sitting on the barstool next to you, taking long pulls of beer between chapters. This kind of storytelling might not be for everyone, but if you like a little dirt under your fingernails, you will find lots to like. Here’s to hoping the forthcoming book 3 in this trilogy can keep up the momentum.
Available at Amazon.