Monday, December 26, 2016

Where the Dead Go to Die - A story of loss, love, and zombies

5 of 5 Stars     Review copy

Been a while since I've read a great opening line, but this one drew me right in...

The dead roam those halls.

Emily Samuels is starting new job and the protesters were out in force, complete with signs reading, "LIFE IS 4 THE LIVING","BRING OUT UR DED",  'NO TOLERRENCE FOR BONE EATERS", "LET' FINISH THE JOB".

Where the Dead Go to Die is a decidedly different take on the zombie apocalypse...

"No, no, no! We don't say zombie here.  Nor do we refer to our guests as 'smilers', or 'bone eaters' or whatever else it is you hear over there in the Russian quarter, it won't fly here, Emily.  There's a reason those offensive B movies and trashy novels about the infected have been withdrawn from circulation and banned."

In the world created by authors Dries and Gunnells, once infected it can take years before the "dead' become hungry.  As a result the ministry has established long-term care facilities where they can stay until they absolutely need to be terminated. It's not brains these zombies cry for.  Here, the infected crave sugar, fats, and with time, marrow.

Where the Dead Go to Die is a captivating story, powerful in the way its told.  In some ways a comment on elder care as much as it is a story about zombies.  A story with a great deal of humanity, yet filled with gore and...hope.  At one point I was actually moved to tears.

There are several illustrations interspersed throughout the the book.  Each character was rich with authenticity and the storytelling is a cut above...

The pigeon rolled trying to flap itself right again.  Only it was too late.  It entangled itself in the barbed wire lining the lunch area fence.  Meta thorns pierced the bird's fragile hulk, and the more it tried to fight the stronger that hold became.  The pigeon screamed until the pain became too much, and the cooed itself into stunned resignation.

Using a zombie tale to tell a story of the turbulent times we live in seems nothing short of inspired

Not sure whose idea it was to use instructions on creating an origami crane to open each of the Interludes in the story, but that was really inspired.

Wholeheartedly recommended.

Where the Dead Go to Die is published by Crystal Lake Publishing and is available in both paperback and for the Kindle.  If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read it at no additional charge. Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can read it for FREE using the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

From the authors' bios...

Aaron Dries was raised in a small New South Wales town in Australia.  Among his many jobs is a stint as an aged-care nurse, experience which came in handy in creating the backdrop for Where the Dead Go to Die.  Aaron graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Communication, majoring in creative writing and video production. As a filmmaker, he won a number of awards for his short films.  When he is not writing, Aaron is thinking about writing, or upcoming film projects. He is also an avid traveler.

Mark Allan Gunnells loves to tell stories. He has since he was a kid, penning one-page tales that were Twilight Zone knockoffs. He likes to think he has gotten a little better since then. He loves reader feedback, and above all he loves telling stories. He lives in Greer, SC, with his husband Craig.

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