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Dead City (Dead World #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  5,252 Ratings  ·  352 Reviews
Texas? Toast.

Battered by five cataclysmic hurricanes in three weeks, the Texas Gulf Coast and half of the Lone Star State is reeling from the worst devastation in history. Thousands are dead or dying—but the worst is only beginning. Amid the wreckage, something unimaginable is happening: a deadly virus has broken out, returning the dead to life—with an insatiable hunger f
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Published June 1st 2011 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2006)
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Oh, zombie books, how I love you and how you hurt me. Some of the worst books I've read this year have been zombie books. Apparently walking dead allows you to substitute out character development, which is such a shame because I believe the best character development can come out of stressful life or death situations. You can get right down to the core of a character with simple actions at the right moments. Maybe I'm looking for too much from the genre.

Dead City is a first person POV told by a
Dirk Grobbelaar
I half expected every step to carry me over the edge of a cliff. It was like there was a big coiled snake moving slowly through my gut. I wanted to sit down and rest, to let the sick feeling inside me pass, but I knew I couldn’t. I still had miles to go before that could happen.

I would normally shun zombie fiction in much the same way I shun the new commercial vampire fiction. However, with Halloween around the corner and having enjoyed The Walking Dead I decided to give this a try.

They all move
Feb 10, 2008 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror fans, zombie fans
Dead City was my first book. When I sat down to write it, I was thinking of how tenuous our hold on civilization really is. We like to think of ourselves as flexible, resilient, adaptable, and as a species I think we are. But the veneer of our civilization, well, that's another story. As a police officer on the S.A.P.D.'s Critical Incident Management Team I was trained in disaster-mitigation. I saw firsthand the destruction left behind in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, not to mention a score of ...more
Rhiannon Frater
I absolutely loved this book and devoured it within days. First off,
the plot is not only realistic (a man trying to get to his family), but full of non-stop action, kick ass zombie gore, and fantastic characterization. It was very hard to put this book down and get some sleep at night. I was so hooked it was hard not to keep reading to find out what came next.

Joe McKinney is a real life police officer (he is a homicide detective) and fellow Texan. He brings the flavor of Texas to the novel and
Sep 16, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It feels like zombies are absolutely everywhere these days. We have not just one but multiple t.v. shows featuring our rotting, brain craving friends. There’s a wealth of zombie merchandise available for those who can’t get enough of the living dead. Dead City, published in 2006, is the first in a series of novels chronicling the (some would say inevitable) zombie apocalypse.

Nobody is ever going to call this book Literature with a capital L but I really enjoyed it. The main protagonist was belie
Apr 01, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Completely enjoyed this book. I stayed up late into the night to finish it because I did not want to put it down.

I enjoyed the fact that the author even made us think about the ethical side of zombies. What if zombies were living human beings who had caught a virus and turned into cannibalistic killers? That is the question that we are left to consider after reading this book.

Over all a great read and I am really looking forward to more books by this author.
Jan 28, 2015 Karl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dead Men Walking.

In 2003 Robert Kirkman gave the world the story of Rick Grimes, a sheriff’s deputy who finds the world plagued by the undead. Upon returning home from the hospital, he finds his house ransacked and his wife and son gone . While trying to adapt to life in this new world and searching for his missing wife and son, he comes across a group of survivors – this is pretty much the first six issues of the Walking Dead comic and the first season of the T. V. show by the same name.

Apr 03, 2011 Kasia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It occurred to me that while I have seen zombie films I haven't read a book about them even thought my shelf has a few books on that topic all ready. Dead City was my first step into that horror genre and I can say that I will definitely be paying more attention to any books of this kind in the future.

The author was a police officer from what I understand and that proved to be handy when he crafted Eddie Hudson, a San Antonio police officer whose bad day was turning worse. In this tale the Texas
Oct 10, 2011 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombie, 2012-read
You know how clothing addicts have those 'I've nothing to wear!!!' tantrums whilst standing in front of an overflowing wardrobe? Well the other day I had a similar moment, replacing the wardrobe with my bookshelf, stamping my feet and saying 'I've nothing to read - I want zombies!!!!'. So I picked up my trusty e-reader and Dead City caught my eye.

Dead City is what I call a proper zombie book. Why? Because its action packed, gory, scary and creepy, the main characters are tough but flawed and peo
Real Dead Review
Nov 21, 2008 Real Dead Review rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Zombie Lovers
Shelves: zombie-stuff
Dead City by Joe McKinney is an action packed zombie novel and a strong first novel. Dead City has all the action you could want out of a zombie book and the main character is pretty well fleshed out. If Dead City has any true weakness, it's the lack of depth in the setting and the story may be a little bit too straight forward.

The story follows Eddie, a San Antonio cop, as tries to survive the zombie hordes and tries to get home to his Wife and child. Along the way he has to overcome some hard
May 23, 2011 Alyssa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I chose to read this book for two simple reasons: I adore the zombie/apocalypse genre and I had never really read a zombie novel before. I did some research over a few books I could possibly choose from, and this one seemed to catch my eye. I wanted a book that would give me zombies, but I wanted a more traditional story about them; not a story about super-powered zombies, zombie teenagers, or anything like that. I prefer the Night of the Living Dead/Dawn of t
Charles Dee Mitchell
According to the blurb on the front of this book, "These are not your mother's zombies."

I was never aware of my mother having had any zombies, and since she passed away several years ago I will never be able to clear this question up. I will say, however, that the zombies wreaking havoc in San Antonio, Texas, in Dead City are not unlike the zombies I have seen in the approximately 100 zombie movies I have watched over the past 40 years. They have no consciousness beyond their desire to feed, the
Mar 02, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dead City is the first book in the Dead City series by Joe McKinney and a novel of Fiction from Pinnacle.

Book Blurb:

Texas? Toast.

Battered by five cataclysmic hurricanes in three weeks, the Texas Gulf Coast and half of the Lone Star State is reeling from the worst devastation in history. Thousands are dead or dying - but the worst is only beginning. Amid the wreckage, something unimaginable is happening: a deadly virus has broken out, returning the dead to life - with an insatiable hunger for hum
I picked this one up because the third book in the series managed to win a 2011 Bram Stoker award. I realize that this was McKinney's first ever novel so I cut him some slack but this novel has that distinct and unsubtle scent of Eau de Video Game which was slightly annoying and exhausting to read at times so I found myself skimming a lot of pages. You spend a lot of the first half of the book following the cop protagonist and narrator running around finding ammo for his gun or 'leveling up' by ...more
Aug 01, 2011 Dustin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is a non-stop action style of read. The issue I had with it was just that...there is nothing to develop the characters at all. There are also a lot of extremely irrational, illogical decisions made by the main character in his plight across the city. He never seems to be tired even though he's been running, shooting, jumping off of rooftops and so forth. A decent read as an action novel, but nothing more. It does play out much like a First person shooter style of video game. Many chapters, in ...more
Sep 20, 2011 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 Stars

This book is absolutely everything that you would expect it to be. Book one of a post apocalyptic zombie thriller that is standard fare for the genre. It is a short read, too short really. Unfortunately, it brings nothing new to the table.

I like Joe Mckinney's writing, he pens a good action thriller. Eddie is a competent main protagonist. This book is missing the key elements that could have made it great. We get little world building, a scarce amount of backstory on Eddie, and only one
David Church
If this was one of the first zombie books I had ever read, I probably would have loved it. But unfortunately this is my umpteenth zombie book, and while really well written it is nothing ground breaking. I actually felt like it was a video game, it had a lot repetitiveness to the book. Wash, Spin, Rinse, Repeat. Drive car run over zombies get out run some more get in cars run over more zombies repeat. The book felt more interesting in the beginning before the first zombie attack. I enjoyed McKin ...more
Aug 14, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dead City is the first in a series of zombie horror novels by Joe McKinney. Officer Eddie Hudson, a San Antonio police officer, is working the nightshift, when suddenly violence erupts...corpses walk the streets hungry for flesh! As Eddie tries to make his way home to his wife and newborn son, he soon realizes the entire city is crumbling around him, wave after wave of ravenous zombies make that effort a deadly and near impossible task. Gritty realism coupled with true emotion makes this horror ...more
William M.
Jun 29, 2011 William M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror

"Dead City", the debut horror novel by Joe McKinney, is a worthy read, equally impressive as a first novel as it is an intense zombie book. The first few chapters have a nice buildup as the reader experiences the outbreak through the eyes of a San Antonio police officer. The action explodes very early on and never really stops, and while I did enjoy the intense sequences, I think the violence would have been more effective if it was balanced with more suspenseful and quiet moment
Feb 08, 2014 Alondra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
4 Stars

I am a new fan.

I love when zombie novels start off with a "typical day at the office"... Our main character Eddie Hudson, just wants to get home to his wife and child, after realizing just how wrong things are getting. It is a long day and a circuitous route, just to get to the other side of the city. He loses friends, co-workers and those he was sworn to protect. Through it all, he is able to keep things in perspective and get to his ultimate goal....but, what will he find when he gets
Dan Slabaugh
Oct 30, 2009 Dan Slabaugh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Likely the worst book I have read in 10 years. I am ashamed to admit I read the whole thing. I guess I was expecting it to tell a story somewhere in the 288 pages. But it never happened.

This was not a book, this was a video game minus the graphics. Some character development would have been nice, but all we got was a cop meeting up with two other cops who then traded one-liners until someone ended up dead.

I will scratch this author of any future reading lists.
Jan 02, 2008 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book if your looking for non stop action survival book. i was late to so many events the month i was reading this book because i just couldn't put it down, the fact that i even tried to read and drive home is a testament to how much action is in the book.
Feb 04, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not a big fan of first person stories, but it worked in this case. I really enjoyed this story. It was fast paced, I read it in a day. I just could not put it down. A very good zombie story.
Dec 03, 2015 Colleen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, zombies
Wow. 3 of the last books I've read have all been 1 star ones. And each one surprised me at that fact. Especially this one. I've read this author before and liked his books. Looks like a TON of people love this book, including my brother, buuut...

Maybe I'm reading too much GOOD zombie novels that the bad ones are more apparent? Following up Girl With All the Gifts and a chain of Maberry with this one, probably didn't help it. But ehh...I just DID not see it.

I judge zombie novels on a few criteria
Nov 22, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, This is probably more like 3 1/2 stars.

This is a good solid zombie book.
It is told from the point of view of a San Antonio police officer, and you can tell that the author really knows his stuff.
There's a nice balance of why did this happen vs. how do we survive, and the world is populated by very interesting characters that behave "realistically" to the zombie outbreak.

My only real problem with the book, is that the end of the came very abruptly. It seemed like a lot of stuff was just rush
Siew Ee
Feb 23, 2012 Siew Ee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Dead City” is like a book version of the Walking Dead TV series. There’s no argument that such books usually provide action-packed no-brainer entertainment. For this sub-genre, you know even before reading the book that there will be a main character who will probably stay alive until the end; other than him, there will be companions who will either stay alive, die gruesome deaths or become zombies. The whole story will revolve around how they dodge zombies and travel from one place to another ...more
Craig Taylor
Jan 20, 2012 Craig Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, so the plots with Zombie books are pretty much the same. Some sort of virus strikes and as a result, there are a load of zombies wandering around and for some strange reason, all they want to do is eat the flesh of those who are uninfected. Dead City is no different plot wise. An American city is hit with a series of natural disasters and all of the dead floating around (and something else presumably) causes this 'zombie' virus to strike. What made this book different is the superb writing s ...more
Dec 30, 2011 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This was one of the fastest books i've ever read!!(so far).. Because i was so into it! I felt like i was running right beside the main character through everything (Eddie). Thanks to The Walking Dead series on t.v., i was not scared, it kept me turning pages everyday! In the beginning when Eddie first fights off zombies, there was this one who had a stump arm, but he was reaching towards Eddie like he had a full arm, i thought that was cute! One of my favorite quote's from the book is "Her blush ...more
Aug 01, 2009 Cameron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great little zombie novel that read very much like an action movie. It was packed full of zombies killing people and people killing zombies and running and narrow escapes and hopelessness and triumph. AND, the entire novel takes place over the course of a single night. The author seemed to know quite a lot about police and firefighter work (the main character is a police officer) - enough to make me wonder if he was once in public service. As I neared the end of the book I was really ...more
May 09, 2012 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first of the (relatively) modern zombie books I read that stood out for me. I've since read everything by the author, but this will remain my favorite because it gave me hope for the future of the zombie genre. :-) Fast-paced, creepy, well thought out... nothing bad here.
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Joe McKinney has been a patrol officer for the San Antonio Police Department, a homicide detective, a disaster mitigation specialist, a patrol commander, and a successful novelist. His books include the four part Dead World series, Quarantined and Dodging Bullets. His short fiction has been collected in The Red Empire and Other Stories and Dating in Dead World and Other Stories. For more informati ...more
More about Joe McKinney...

Other Books in the Series

Dead World (5 books)
  • Apocalypse of the Dead (Dead World, #2)
  • Flesh Eaters (Dead World, #3)
  • Mutated  (Dead World, #4)
  • Dead World Resurrection (Dead World, #4.5)

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“... Have you considered that maybe this is the birth of a new world, that what happens next is a golden opportunity to change the nature of man in a fundamental way?”
“Those are brave words, Tiresias.”
“New parents can’t afford to be anything but brave, Eddie.”
More quotes…