Zombies are, and have been for some time now, all the rage in the horror genre. From books to movies, the undead are enjoying more success now than at any time in pop culture history. But, with so many variations on a theme, they can't all be good. And this brings us to Plague of the Dead by Z. A. Recht.
Plague of the Dead tells the tale of the zombie apocalypse, how it begins and the tough S.O.B.s that stand on the front lines of the war. Unfortunately, everything in this book is so cliched that at times, I wanted to hurl the book across the room. I'm telling you, there were times I had to close the book in mid-sentence, close my eyes and pray for patience. And this is coming from someone who loves over-the-top, B-grade horror! This book was the single hardest book for me to get through in years.
The story starts out promising enough, but once the Marines come into the picture, forget about it, it's all down hill from there. The dialogue was contrived and stereotypical. It was like all of these guys were withdrawing from steroids or something. And, why fill the book with so many characters whose names start with the letter D? Between the terrible "Marine dialogue" and trying to keep track of all of these similarly-named characters, it was just too much. Not to mention that there is not a single character who's appealing to the reader. When a character dies, who cares? Not me. It's a tough sell when you wish the zombies would take out the supposed good guys because the good guys are all such assholes.
Need another reason I didn't care for this tale of woe? The book is filled with WTF? moments. For instance, there's once scene where the Marines are trying to get into a gun shop because during a reconnaissance, they learned that there were some really old MREs and weapons available in the shop's basement. The leader of the group's like, "We have to get that food if we want to survive!" My first thought was - doesn't this town have a grocery store? I mean, with millions dead (and it all happened so quickly), the grocery aisles should be pretty clear and relatively well-stocked, don't you think?
But the biggest problem with Plague of the Dead is that it doesn't end here. This is the first in a series. If you really, really, really love zombie stories and you won't feel complete unless you see and read every last one of them, then by all means, pick up Plague of the Dead. But, as for me, this was the first book that caused me mental and physical anguish.
Plague of the Dead gets 0 out of *****.