Undead L.A. 1
by Devan Sagliani
Publication date: August 31st 2013
Genre: Horror, Zombies
Source: eARC provided by author
in exchange for an honest review.
Currently on sale for .99 cents!
On September 20, the zombie virus was released into the dense population of transients on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. It spread like unstoppable wildfire in all directions, decimating everything in its path for six full weeks before outside measures were taken to cleanse the scourge. These stories take place in those final times. They are told through the eyes of several different Angelinos, each offering a unique perspective to the events as they unfolded and to the aftermath of the virus.
When it comes to safely navigating 747’s from London to Los Angeles, Edgar Reynolds is a consummate professional. It’s his personal life that’s in shambles, or more specifically his marriage, after a string of affairs he couldn’t be bothered to hide. None of that matters to him the morning he wakes up to discover he’s smack dead in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Now what’s important is that he survives long enough to hijack a plane from LAX and flee the end of the world.
Detective Gary Wendell isn’t having the best day. A murder case in West Hollywood takes him from the Hollywood Hills to the Twin Towers in downtown Los Angeles. The hunt for his killer stirs fresh life into Gary’s secret obsession. If it’s the end of the world, Gary’s going to exact his own justice on the monster who got away, the one who told him that murder isn’t art if NO ONE IS WATCHING.
When Donny’s dad took off he left him and his mom in a run down apartment in Hollywood scrambling to make ends meet. Still, Donny managed to form a begrudging bond with his mom’s new boyfriend, Bram, who took him under his wing. Just when things were starting to look up for them as a family, a virus hit Los Angeles taking away any last shred of hope or safety they had. Soon it’s up to Donny and his pack of teenage friends, not just to defend their gated apartment complex, but also to scavenge for food and supplies. Working together, they do their part to protect and provide for the remaining survivors at CAMP ZOMBIE.
Being invited to the Emmys as the date of her favorite television actor is a dream Kathleen could never imagine. She also never expected to return to the city of her college years one last time before dying of terminal cancer. When the doors burst open in the middle of the ceremony and infected homeless people begin eating her favorite celebrities, everything changes. Now she’s caught between spending her final moments in mind-numbing terror fleeing for her life, or letting the filthy undead strip the last good memories away in TO LIVE & DIE IN L.A.
Pilar Garcia grew up working in her father’s fish taco truck in Boyle Heights, but dreamed of becoming a world-class chef one day. After overcoming the cultural stereotypes and working her way through Culinary Arts school she is able to harness the power of her dreams by returning to her roots and creating a food truck empire in Los Angeles. She’s so successful, in fact, that three of her best trucks snatch a spot at the coveted Los Angeles City Fall Street Food Fair in downtown Los Angeles. Unfortunately, that’s the same day the virus is released into Skid Row, mere blocks away in LA CUCARACHA.
Guillermo and his half brother, Caesar, have always been survivors. Growing up in the gang neighborhoods of Venice Beach they’ve learned to take care of each other first and ask questions later. Yermo, as his real friends call him, is starting to get a reputation as a serious surfer by the local guys he reveres, including the new legend of Dogtown and former professional surfer, Brody. He’s not about to let like the end of the world keep him out of the water or off his streets. Together they form a group capable of not only dealing with the zombie menace but also fighting off the new arrivals intent on taking over Venice Beach – a vicious new supergang: One Blood. They’re not heroes though, they’re just the DOGTOWN LOCALS UNION.
This was an interesting read for me.. and by interesting I mean freaking awesome. I didn’t read the synopsis before I started this book (I usually don’t) so I was definitely surprised when I learned that it was an anthology of short stories based upon the same zombie apocalypse. Each story is about a different person, or group of people, and who they were before the shit hit the fan and how they handled it once it dropped on them.
Undead L.A. 1 is not a fast-paced, heart-racing zombie novel for the most part. It’s more about the characters and their lives. Don’t get me wrong, there were certainly parts of each story that were gory and hellish, but it was like watching one of those movies where you learn all about each set of characters and get a glimpse of what their lives are like and what they are going through, only to find out that they’re all connected in some way. Obviously in this collection we already know that they’re dealing with the same issues in the end, but that’s the best way I can explain it.
Each story is unique and I can imagine how people will connect with different stories within the whole, whether you like a good crime novel or contemporary fiction, you’re going to get a taste of it here. It’s obvious that Sagliani put a great deal of time into developing these characters and their own worlds. It’s quite impressive the lengths he went to in order to put this all together. I’m still trying to decide which is my favorite.. I enjoyed them all for obviously contrasting reasons.
I highly recommend Undead L.A. 1 to all fans of horror, regardless of what end of the spectrum you find yourself at — an all-you-can-eat horror fan or just a dash on the side.
~About the Author~
Devan Sagliani was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from UCLA. He is the author of the Zombie Attack! series, The Rising Dead, A Thirst For Fire, and the UNDEAD L.A. series. Devan also wrote the original screenplay for the movie HVZ: Humans Versus Zombies. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1815746/
Devan’s fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Million Writers Award. In 2012 his debut novel Zombie Attack! Rise of the Horde won Best Zombie/Horror E-book on Goodreads. He is also an active member of the Horror Writer’s Association. He currently lives in Venice Beach, California with his wife.
Devan’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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