Posted: 10/15/2011 in Books

Mort by Rob Redux

Lots of zombie apocalypse tales focus around ass-kicking police officers, marines, or hot ladies (who never knew they’d be so good at killin’ stuff). Rod Redux takes a different approach in his novel, Mort. The name itself doesn’t inspire images of an action hero or a dynamic leading man. And our title character is exactly what you would expect from a Mort (no offense to all you wonderful Mortimers out there, I’m sure that you’re ten times more attractive and physically fit than myself). Mort is an overweight, balding man who runs a comic shop. The novel takes us through Mort’s strange experience in surviving the apocalypse.

THE GOOD: Mort is actually a really sweet, heart-warming story wrapped in a crass, sexual, violent package (like a cute puppy dog wandering around the set of porno shoot). The best parts of the story depict Mort’s unlikely friendship with Cactus Pete, another survivor. Pete is everything that Mort is not: attractive, physically fit, and a bit dimwitted. Their bromance is the heart of the novel, and even as disturbing as some of their behavior is, you’ll find yourself rooting for both of them throughout the book.

Mort takes some interesting twists and turns that keep it from being a formulaic zombie apocalypse story. The first chapter starts with angelic creatures rescuing survivors, so you know right from the start that you’re in for something a little bit different.

THE BAD: Mort is not for the easily offended. There is some pretty graphic sexual stuff in here along with your standard graphic zombie violence. If you’re a zombie enthusiast, I’m guessing you’re prepared for a certain amount sex and violence. Redux does push the envelope a bit. Sometimes it’s pretty funny, sometimes it’s genuinely disturbing, make sure you’re prepared for both when you pick this one up.

THE UGLIES: Zombies in Mort are humans infected by a disease that eats them from the inside out. They need to eat human flesh to stay fresh. They’re primarily slow-moving, but can move with some speed when motivated. The zombies appear to have a finite lifespan before they waste away. There are clear distinctions made between old zombies and fresh ones. The zombie disease also affects dogs in this world, which I personally don’t think you see enough of outside of the Resident Evil franchise.

THE VERDICT: Mort is an excellent book if you’re not turned off by a little explicit, disturbing, deviant sexuality mixed into your zombie stew. It really does turn out to be a surprisingly sweet and engaging story. We’d all like to be super-cool zombie-killing machines when the apocalypse rears its head, but in actuality, most people reading this are probably a bit closer to Mort than Rick Grimes.

I believe that Mort was on sale when I picked it up on Amazon for $0.99. The e-book is still a great deal at $2.99, less of a value if you prefer holding an actual book in your hands for $11.99. No matter how you find it, it gets a full recommendation from me. 23 out 25 stars.


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