Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dead Sea by Brian Keene

Sunday, June 16, 2013 with 2 comments

Amazon | Goodreads

The streets of the city are no longer safe. They are filled with zombies -- the living dead, rotting predators driven only by a need to kill ... and eat. Some of the living have struggled to survive, but with each passing day, their odds grow worse. Others have fled, frantically searching for a place to escape, even briefly, the slaughter around them.

For Lamar Reed and a handful of others, that safe haven is an old Coast Guard ship out at sea, with plenty of water separating them from the grasping hands and tearing teeth of the dead. These desperate survivors are completely isolated, cut off from the dangers of the mainland. But their haven will soon become a deathtrap, and they'll learn that isolation can also mean no escape!

Holy crap. I just finished this one, so excuse me if I'm still trying to process it. I've only read a handful of zombie novels, but I can easily say that this was one of the freakiest. It starts out with this guy named Lamar, a gay African-American who is hiding out with his neighbor, Alan, during the zombie apocalypse. Alan unfortunately gets bitten at some point, and Lamar goes off on his own until he into a couple of kids that he takes under his wing. They receive help from another man, Mitch, and the group of four run towards the harbor and join more survivors on board a ship that's heading out to sea. 

What makes this book stand out from the plethora of zombie novels out there is that not only can humans become infected and turn into zombies, but animal species, as well. According to Lamar's character, this disease, dubbed 'Hamelin's Revenge,' first appeared in rats, and then spread to humans as the rats began attacking people. The disease would periodically jump from species to species, until even fish weren't safe from catching it. 

I think the reason I found this book to be creepy was because of how the disease began infecting animals. It's scary enough trying to imagine surviving and fighting off hordes of human zombies, but what about zombie sharks? Or zombie birds? What the heck do you do then?!

This novel was a quick read, with lots of suspense, but admit that I soon find myself visibly cringing while reading certain scenes - after all that Lamar had witnessed, he still seemed to let his guard down at the worst possible moments. For one, he shrugged off a gaping wound on a fish they had caught, which is not something you should do when you know that with a wound in any other species your first thought would be "zombie!" It's the middle of the apocalypse, for Pete's sake! Then, while knowing that zombie fish actually were roaming the seas, Lamar put his freakin' hand into the ocean, just to feel the water on his skin! C'mon! How could you possibly forget about the fish?! 

At any rate, despite the fact that Lamar was clearly very lucky to make it past the first day, let alone the first chapter, I still enjoyed reading this book. It was unique, and really made zombie apocalypses sound even scarier than they normally do. I'd recommend it to anyone who's a fan of the genre!



  1. Ohhhh, interesting! I like zombie books, but I haven't heard of one like this before. I'll add it to Goodreads :D It's a shame that Lamar is a bit TOO lucky now and then, but I can accept that. Thanks for sharing.


    1. I've actually read a few of zombie novels where the protagonists are insanely lucky - but I guess if they weren't then there wouldn't be a story to tell...


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