by Glenn Bullion
Publisher: Permuted Press
Publication date: January 7th 2013
Source: Ebook received for tour
in exchange for an honest review
It didn’t take long for the world to die. And it didn’t take long, either, for the dead to rise.
Born on the day everything ended, a world filled with the walking dead is the only one that Aaron knows. Kept in seclusion, his family teaches him the basics. How to read and write. How to survive.
Then Aaron makes a shocking discovery. The undead, who desire nothing but flesh, ignore him. It’s as if he’s invisible to them.
The survivors of the old suburb of Lexington call a high school their home. They live day to day, without any of the luxuries mankind used to enjoy. Samantha is a product of the new world. Alone, cold, looking out only for herself. She and the other residents of Lexington feel their hope dwindling. They need change. They need someone who can face the corpses. They need someone who can live in a city of the dead.
They need Aaron.
Dead Living begins the day the dead rise and start devouring the living. It also happens to be the same day Aaron is born. His father, Joe, is the character we get acquainted with first. He’s at work when the world starts its downward spiral into hell. Joe’s wife goes into labor during the beginning stages of the outbreak and so begins his dreaded task of reaching the hospital. Ugh, could there be a worse place to go? Every infected person and their mother is going to be there! With the help of a few people he meets at the hospital, the ones that didn’t want to eat him, of course, he narrowly escapes with his life and heads for the hills. Years pass and the five survivors become very close, like a family, all tucked away in the woods. Aaron is fourteen years old now, and doesn’t know anything about how the world once was, but their life is pretty cushy miles from the nearest town, as if the corpses don’t exist anymore. Of course, supplies are in high demand during the apocalypse and each time they have to make a run into town, they gamble with their lives. Luck always runs out sooner or later…
Fast forward ten years and we meet Samantha, a twenty-year-old girl who lives in a “gated community” inside Lexington High School with about sixty other survivors. She’s had a rough life right from the beginning. Samantha doesn’t even remember her parents, the only childhood memories she has to reflect on are scrounging for food and fighting off zombies. Not a very pretty picture, is it? She is a product of her environment, for sure. She takes care of herself, only helping out in her community when it benefits her in some way. Sure, she’ll work, but it’ll cost you. I love this girl! She isn’t intellectually smart, but she is street savvy and tough as nails. She has no emotions to slow her down, because she’s pretty much shut those suckers off. She cares about one person — herself. During a dangerous, but routine supply run to Baltimore with several others in her group, things go horribly wrong and Samantha finds herself in a heap of trouble. Luckily for her, Aaron is there to save her rear end. He’s been living in Baltimore for the last decade, perfectly happy to stroll among the endless amounts of corpses wandering the streets. What?!?
I have been dying to read Dead Living ever since I snatched it up from Amazon earlier this year. I began reading chapter one and was thrilled! There was a perfect blend of action and chaos, as there should be at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. Another chapter in and something started to feel off, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, and it began to drag me down. I was a little put off by the revolving perspectives. The reader is inside the mind of every single character during the first few chapters, regardless of their significance. I hate to admit it, but I actually started to get bored, and a little dizzy to boot. I wasn’t going to give up that easily, though, and I’m so glad I didn’t. Once Samantha was introduced, and met up with Aaron, the plot picked up and the story began to flow. It was like I was reading a different book altogether. From that point on, I fell in love with the plot and the characters. Most of the story is told from Aaron and Samantha’s POVs, and that was much more realistic and manageable. So, if you choose to read this book, and you MOST DEFINITELY SHOULD, just be patient. Those first few chapters, although not perfect, are valuable to the story.
Dead Living is not only chock-full of nail-biting zombie goodness, but the character development is AMAZING! Samantha starts out as this hard ass chick that wouldn’t hesitate to chop off your arm if it meant her survival, but she ends up in a totally different place by the end of the book. Aaron, well.. he is remarkable; a light in the middle of the darkness. After everything he’s been through in his life, he’s still a genuinely good person. There are many characters living in the community at Lexington High School, some you can’t help but adore, and some you loathe even more than the walking dead. There are also plot twists that came out of nowhere and surprised the heck out of me. Despite the shaky start, this is a brilliant story with fleshed-out characters and a plot that will keep you on your toes. For fans of The Walking Dead and the Rot & Ruin series, I highly recommend this book!
I do have one question, Mr. Bullion, should you happen to read this — Why is this not part of a series? I’m not ready to let go of these awesome characters and their post-apocalyptic world yet!
~About the Author~
I live in Maryland with my wonderful wife and four cats. I love gaming, computer technology, movies, and of course, reading and writing. I love science fiction and especially horror and the paranormal. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, zombies, anything supernatural, all beautiful subjects.
I’ve been writing since I was twelve years old. There’s just something about creating a story that I like. I always try come up with something that hasn’t been done, or is unique in some way. It could be someone with demonic powers, or something much more simple, such as a person that zombies ignore. It’s fun to create a character, give him or her a personality and background, and watch them evolve through a story.
I’ve tried other subjects, but always drift back to horror and paranormal. There’s a reason why we keep going back to horror movies and books, why they’ve made fifty Friday the 13th movies. People like to be scared, but more than that, I think paranormal and horror stir the imagination like nothing else. We’re all just a little nervous to open that closet door at midnight, or look under the bed.
Glenn’s Website | Facebook | Goodreads
~Blog Tour Giveaway~
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