Friday Book Review: Domain of the Dead by Iain McKinnon

Domain of the Dead
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While we at ZERO love the mindless gore and nonstop action of most zombie novels, it’s always nice to get a break from the carnage for a novel that weaves in a solid amount of world building. Domain of the Dead by Iain McKinnon is a zombie novel for the zombie enthusiast who isn’t satisfied with the “Oh God, zombies. Where? Why? When? Who cares.” McKinnon creates a compelling and interesting world in the post-zombie apocalyptic world.

The novel starts with survivor Sarah standing on the roof of the warehouse that’s been shielding her group from the zombie invasion for the past years. With no connection to the outside world and supplies running low, Sarah contemplates taking her life. She’s interrupted the sound of a helicopter. In a last ditch effort to survive, the group takes on the zombie masses and finds an elite force of military personnel capturing W.D’s, as they call them, for experimentation.

While this sounds like your basic zombie novel premises, the game changes when Sarah and her group land on the battleship the soldiers call home. The sea had protected the ship from the invasion and the communication devices kept them in contact and in control by a loosely organized global government. Their mission is to house two scientists tasked with finding a cure. This mission goes poorly.

Domain of the Dead packs in a lot of story into 216 pages. There’s action, adventure, horror, love, and backstory. The characters are crisp in a way that most novels can’t nail. Each character is well written and easily identifiable in action and dialogue. The action is sharp. The action scenes are so well conceived and written that you’ll find yourself mimicking the characters actions.

Even more interesting is the discussions on the infection. Most zombie novels never get into the transmission and vectors associated with the zombie infection. Domain of the Dead jumps headfirst into a scientific theory via the virologists investigating it. The threat of airborne transmission plays a large part in the fear onboard the ship which is an angle not many zombie novels introduce.

The only weak point in this otherwise standout novel is the ending. The cliff hanger ending works for some people, not for others. While we won’t give away any more than that, just know that as soon as you wrap this novel up, you’ll be reaching for the next book in the series. Get it on Domain of the Dead
Kindle or paperback Domain of the Dead
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Fast, Fun, Free: The Living Dead 2

Sorry for the late post but until the Zombie Apocalypse comes to pass, some of us still need to work the occasional weekend. Thankfully, the ZERO organization has found an amazing collection of short stories available for Fast, Fun, and Free this week.

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The Living Dead 2 is the second collection of short stories gathered by Night Shade Books. To whet your appetite, they present eight stories completely free here. The stories run the gambit of creepiness without ever venturing into too much gore.  Who We Used To Be by David Moody is particularly haunting, presenting a world where everyone dies and comes back. Mouja by Matt London melds the world of samurai with the walking dead. The Skull-Faced City by David Barr Kirtley is a stand-alone sequel to the Pseudopod Podcast The Skull-Faced Boy, a podcast I can’t wait to go back and listen to.

If you like what you read, you can buy the entire collection of 44 stories direct from The Living Dead 2 or  Night Shade Books.