Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Book Review | Where the Dead Go to Die by Aaron Dries and Mark Allan Gunnells

Where the Dead Go to Die is a new horror release from Aaron Dries and Mark Allan Gunnells.

There are monsters in this world. And they used to be us. Now it's time to euthanize to survive in a hospice where Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible.

Post-infection Chicago. Christmas.

Inside The Hospice, Emily and her fellow nurses do their rounds. Here, men and women live out their final days in comfort, segregated from society, and are then humanely terminated before fate turns them into marrow-craving monsters known as ‘Smilers.’ Outside these imposing walls, rabid protesters swarm with signs, caught up in the heat of their hatred.

Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible. But in a world where mortality means nothing, where guns are drawn in fear and nobody seems safe anymore – at what cost will this pursuit come? And through it all, the soon to be dead remain silent, ever smiling. Such is their curse.

This emotional, political novel comes from two of horror’s freshest voices, and puts a new spin on an eternal topic: the undead. In the spirit of George A Romero meets Jack Ketchum, Where the Dead Go to Die it is an unforgettable epilogue to the zombie genre, one that will leave you shaken and questioning right from wrong…even when it’s the only right left.

It won't be long before that snow-speckled ground will be salted by blood.

Why did I read Where the Dead Go to Die?

This was a simple case of being in the mood for a new horror release. I try at all costs to get away with selecting books without reading the descriptions. That's not always possible, but when Crystal Lake Publishing offered up Mark Allan Gunnells's new release, I said yes without knowing it was a zombie book. I'm glad I did! I'm not sure I would have said yes so quickly if I had known the subject matter, and that would have been unfortunate.

The Strengths

The biggest strength for me was the nurse/caretaker perspective. Where the Dead Go to Die is not your typical zombie book - we are talking zombie hospice here - and it added some new things to the zombie genre.

I also enjoyed the characters (even though I victim blamed the hell out of all of them).

The Weaknesses

It was a rough start. I was pretty confused in the beginning trying to piece things together. There were also similes galore which scared me more than anything else, but eventually it all came together. Once the back story got going and all of the holes started filling in, I was solidly along for the ride. I had to give it a good 20%, but it was totally worth it in the end.

Would I recommend Where the Dead Go to Die to others?

Yep. I keep expecting the day to come where I've had my fill of zombies, but today is not that day. As long as folks like Aaron Dries and Mark Allan Gunnells keep coming up with original ideas, I'll be there.

7/10: Recommended Read

Review copy provided by publisher


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  1. Sounds like an interesting take on zombies. I've been waiting for your thoughts and now that you've posted them, I definitely want to check this one out. Maybe I'll make it a January read. It sort of screams winter-read for me and my December is looking pretty full.

  2. Normally I'd have the patience for a slow beginning if I was promised an incredible ending but not lately. I just don't think I could handle it. I've been so stressed and in need of instant entertainment. I'll have to put this one on my shelf for when I have more patience. It sounds like I don't want to miss it.

  3. gasp.. zombie book you say? Gonna have to get my hands on this one. :)

  4. I do like a good zombie read, especially when it's not the same as all the others out there. Great post! And great blog. :)

  5. This sounds like a interesting read

  6. Wow that's a unique take. Kinda creepy too. Looks good though, and it's set at Christmas!


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