Dead Living

Posted: 08/20/2011 in Books

Dead Living by Glenn Bullion

Dead Living is the classic story of boy meets girl in a post zombie apocalypse world. The boy in question is Aaron, a young man born during the initial zombie salvo who possesses a mysterious gift.  Samantha is a twenty-something woman who’s been fighting for survival her whole life, trusting no one in the process. Can Aaron melt Sam’s heart of stone? (Is it possible to melt stone? I don’t have time for research)

THE GOOD: Dead Living is really as sweet a story as you’ll find in the zombie genre. The budding romance between Aaron and Sam comes off as pure and innocent, almost to a fault. I’d classify it as a love story first, zombie story second. Not in a bad way, there’s still plenty of zombie gore to satisfy your horror needs. Bullion really brings everything together nicely. It’s a well-told story with really good character development.

THE BAD: I have a slight problem with the beginning of the book. I don’t feel like I’m spoiling anything since what I’m about to talk about takes place in the 2nd chapter or so. Aaron is born on the opening day of the apocalypse. Mom dies. His father and three other survivors run off to a secluded cabin where they live together for fourteen years. There are two women and two men in this camp. We join the story at the fourteen year point, and the survivors are just beginning to pair off and hook up. Fourteen years! In the face of extinction! It took them them fourteen years to realize that their parts match up! The survival of the species is really screwed if all survivors take as long to get busy as this group. It’s no wonder Aaron’s courtship process with Sam is a little slow. Compared to his father, he’s practically a man-whore.

THE UGLIES: Dead Living gives us traditional, slow-moving zombies with a slight twist. The occasional zombie is what Aaron coins “a thinker”. They’re smarter than the average bear zombie. They can turn doorknobs, pull on stuff, mobilize their zombie compatriots, and generally learn from watching humans. It’s an idea that can be done well (Zombie, Ohio) or poorly (Land of the Dead). Dead Living does it well and it works for the story.

VERDICT: I liked Dead Living a lot. It’s a really well done zombie apocalypse romance tale. By the end of the novel I found myself really rooting for the characters. The e-book version is available for three bucks at Amazon. It’s definitely worth picking up. 45 out of 51 stars.

  1. Jessica says:

    You know, I’ve seen that stock image used about eight times on eight different horror/zombie novels. Considering it was used on a traditionally published book that had fantastic sales (Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry), you’d think people would back off using the same stock image over and over again. *headdesk*

  2. You know, I was thinking that the cover didn’t really fit the story. I guess that’s why. It’s a shame, because the book is really good. Somebody out there: Help Glenn Bullion out. Make him an original book cover.

  3. Five months later, and I’m just noticing this review 🙂 I’m glad you liked the book.

    Concerning the stock image, believe me, I was a little upset too when I realized it was already used. 🙂 But it was kind of late in the process, and the lady who made the cover was able to modify it somewhat to make it look different (took away the color, reversed, zoomed in, etc.).

    The cover I had in my mind would have been a city in the background, with Aaron standing in the middle of a street, surrounded by zombies, but not moving in to harm him (I think this would just look neat, and get across one of the main selling points of the story.)

    I made the romance innocent and slow on purpose. I hope it came across well. One of the challenges I had to consider was how would romance work in a world where there weren’t a lot of partners? I imagined just due to lack of experience that it would be slower than what we’re used to.

  4. […] I do think that you have better options if you want to read a novel about smart zombies (Zombie, Ohio) or a romance set in the apocalypse (Dead Living). […]

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