I love zombies.
I love good zombie fare, like ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Dawn
of the Dead.’
I like bad zombie fare, like ‘Resident Evil’ and that
disastrous ‘Night of the Living Dead’ remake.
Most of all, though, I like zombie fiction.
The problem is, though, finding good zombie fiction is
For every ‘World War Z,’ there’s also some lame rip-off that
is all about crunching and munching and forgets to tell a compelling story. On the flip side, sometimes you have the opposite problem, when authors take their story too seriously and forget there should be some fun involved in a zombie book.
You don’t have to worry about that with ‘Dead, but Not For
Long,’ written by Matthew Kinney and Lesa Kinney Anders. It is a wonderful blend of funny and smart.
First off, the story is set in Lansing. So any Michigan
resident is obviously going to have their interest piqued by that fact alone.
The setting isn’t the only thing to like about ‘Dead, but
Not For Long,’ though.
The characters are richly drawn. You have heroes, you have a
smart aleck kid that is tougher than she looks, you have a Christian biker gang
– and a handful of doctors whose motives might not be as altruistic as they
Then you have Eric Wapowski. I have not met a character in a
zombie story that I find as funny as Eric Wapowski since Shawn in ‘Shawn of the
Eric Wapowski is a narcissistic slug that cares more about
eating than client care. He’s a hospital security guard with delusions of
grandeur. While I don’t want to ruin the entire story for you, let me just tell
you that Eric manages to make a KFC run in a zombie apocalypse that is one of
the funniest things I’ve ever read in a zombie book.
The bulk of the action in 'Dead, but Not For Long' happens at a hospital -- and the relationships and problems that stem from the setting are unique to this book, which I like.
‘Dead, but Not For Long’ is a serious book with serious
issues. It also makes fun of itself, the zombie genre and the absurd situations
that stem from a zombie outbreak.
There is character growth and character backslides – but most
importantly, there are characters that are realistically drawn. No one is
strictly a hero. No one is strictly a virginal girl that needs to be saved at
all costs. And no one is strictly bad and without merit.
This is an indie, so there are a few problems with grammar and punctuation. Using "shuttered" instead of "shuddered," for example, but they're not awful.
‘Dead, but Not For Long’ is one of those books that grips
you right off the bat. There are plenty of grisly kills – but the book really excels
in the moments of levity. And, as I said before, it’s set in Michigan.
You really have nothing to lose.