Dead Tropics

Posted: 08/07/2011 in Books

Dead Tropics by Sue Edge

Dead Tropics is the story of one woman’s struggle to survive and protect her family in the face of the zombie apocalypse. I really loved this book, it’s definitely in the top 3 books I’ve read recently, so let’s get right to it:

THE GOOD: Sue Edge (is that her real name?) sucked me in right away. The zombie outbreak starts fairly early in the book; within the first few chapters. Our heroine, Lori, is a nurse and the first zombies turn at the hospital where she works. The opening section of the book is really strong as Lori and pals fight to escape the hospital and then find their families, all the while trying to convince others (mostly unsuccessfully) that zombies are hot on their tails.

What I really loved about Tropics was how Edge doesn’t pull any punches, especially during the initial outbreak. Nobody is safe, including parents and children. She really effectively pulls at the reader’s heart-strings. As a parent myself, some of Edge’s descriptions made me wince (in a good way).

I also liked the positive portrayal of humanity. There’s certainly a place for zombie tales that play the “we’re all scum on some level” card. (In fact, I just praised Dead Beat for doing just that) But it is nice to have a story where all of the characters are good people just trying to survive. I’d like to think that’s where I would fit during the apocalypse (although my real plan is to just die early: bitten on the ankle on page 3, that’s me!)

THE BAD: I really don’t have much to say here. I loved Dead Tropics from beginning to end. Even the length felt about right; longer than most zombie novels.

The one critique I do have is concerning Lori’s sister’s children. I’m pretty sure they exist in the book and I’m pretty sure there’s two of them, but I don’t even know if they’re given names. Even while the group is traveling out in the wild, these mysterious kids are barely given a mention. I feel like they should have either been developed a little more or just left out entirely. As is, they serve no purpose. I often found myself wondering if my memory had failed me and that I might have created them in my mind.

THE UGLIES: Tropics contains the best kind of zombies for my money. They are traditional shamblers, but they can move when motivated (as far as their injuries will allow). They have a horde mentality and their key strength is in numbers. Edge gives them some backstory: something about miners excavating an ancient evil. (Think Gandalf’s Moria warning: “They dug too greedily and too deep”)

VERDICT: This is a really excellent book! You should go read it right now. I don’t know if it says more about me or about the quality of the female zombie perspective that 3 of my favorite zombie novels are penned by women. (See also Hollowland and After the End)

Dead Tropics gets my highest recommendation and 22 out of 22 stars.

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