I read Plague of the Dead, by Z.A. Recht, as part of my ongoing to quest to find book zombie novels. There’s just something so visual about zombies, that I think it makes it hard to pull one off in a book. This one, though, succeeds admirably. I read it in less than twelve hours a couple of weekends ago and was hooked from the first page.
The Plague of the Dead is the first book in a (I think) trilogy. It documents the beginning of a world wide zombie outbreak. USAMRIID (the Army’s version of the CDC) picks up on an emerging African disease that turns people into zombies. The government–or at least a Men in Black branch of the government–clamps down on the story to “keep people from panicking.” By the time it becomes clear what’s going on, it’s much too late. An international coalition fails to quarantine Africa and the zombie bug spreads to the rest of the world.
The story follows four different major characters in three different plot threads that won’t fully converge until later in the series. That’s okay with me; I have no problem reading more from Recht. This book was totally addictive. The zombies are terrifying (because some of them can still run and jump). There’s conflict between different groups of humans, mostly from Men in Black still on the loose. The characters, while not the most imaginative characters I’ve run across, are appealing and I worried about them during their many close calls.
This is the third book I’ve picked up from Permuted Press, small imprint focusing mostly on zombie horror. And I’ve enjoyed every single one that I’ve read. I only noticed them on the book scene recently, so I don’t know too many details. But I think they’re going after books that the more mainstream publishers are passing by. Not sure why, because when I talk books or movies with people, I usually find another zombie fan or two.
I need to order the next one and find out what happens next.