Thursday, July 11, 2013

Special Dead - by Patrick Freivald - Exceptional follow-up to Twice Shy

5 of 5 Stars    Review Copy

Special Dead is a sequel to Patrick Freivald's debut novel, Twice Shy, the story of a High School student with the Zombie Virus. Twice Shy was not a book I was planning to read.  When it was published in 2012 I had no idea what it was about, but then I was given an advance copy of Special Dead and thought it would be a good idea to read book one.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Great story, great read, and one of the best books I've read this year.

Following the Prompocalypse at the end of Twice Shy, Ani Romero is no longer the only non-living student at Ohneka Falls High School.  It's a little more than a year since all hell broke loose at the prom and the courts are forcing the school to provide a classroom education to the Special Dead.  They are essentially cut off from the rest of the school, forced to wear special helmets, leg-irons, guarded by men with flame-throwers and instructions to use them if needed. Yet, despite their situation, these kids struggle with the same desires, goals as issues as living high schoolers.

Freivald does an excellent job of using the Special Dead to expound upon current real world prejudices.  "'I miss church,' Lydia whispered.  She fiddled with the silver cross at her neck and looked at the clock.  Ani followed her gaze.  11:00 am Sunday.  It's hard to be a Baptist zombie.  Especially when your preacher organized marches encouraging the government to send you to hell where you belong."

In the search for a permanent cure for the ZV, progress is being made, and then BANG.  The writer provides more than a few, "Oh, WOW," moments and an ending I promise you won't see coming.

Special Dead is every bit as good as Twice Shy.  The novel can stand on it's own, but I strongly recommend reading Twice Shy first.  Both are available, right now, in multiple formats.

Highly recommended.

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