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Plague of the Dead
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Plague of the Dead (Morningstar Strain #1)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  4,965 ratings  ·  265 reviews
The Morningstar virus. Those infected suffer delerium, fever, violent behaviour ... and a hundred per cent mortality rate. But that's not the worst of it. The victims return from the dead to walk the earth. And when a massive military operation fails to contain the plague of the living dead, it escalates into a worldwide pandemic.
On one side of the world, thousands of mil...more
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

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MsBDiamondDiva1
Thanks to the blue sky I have finished this piece of junk!!! I am so sorry, I just could not like this story as much as I tried; this zombie story fall flat!!! Why are there so many good reviews on this book?
I mean here is the main reason:

1. The characters know that a bite, blood, fluid or scratch would get them infected-but no one thinks to put on leather, extra layers or anything to protect their skin!!! So, they were basically saying- "Look at me zombie; I am a walking fried chicken leg."

2....more
Andy
I had a discussion with my wife about what constitutes a zombie story. Plague of the Dead seems to be more of a virus story. The strain hits, turns people into mindless, seemingly soulless, infected "carriers", but for all intents and purposes, they are still alive. However, when the "carriers" are killed, they turn into the living dead because they rise and continue on in the attempt to get some food, namely you and me. So I would venture a change of the genre to something like infection novels...more
Doug Lewis
OK ... so, it was a nice try. The explanation for why there are fast AND slow zombies was GREAT. But unfortunately, not a whole lot else has great merit. The characters are all cookie-cutter. Every "military" character is the same as the next - and they use A LOT of cheesy jargon like "FUBAR" and "SNAFU" constantly.. making it seem like the author did military research by watching too many movies. Also - some of the pop-culture references seem very out of place such as "it looked like somewhere...more
Carolyn (Book Chick City)
I gave this book 7/10 on my blog: Book Chick City, but Goodreads still doesn't offer half stars! Grrrrr

Plague of the Dead is such a fun book - if you can call the downfall of mankind fun, which I can as it's just fiction... This book has all the elements I love in zombie fiction; lots of zombies, great characters and an absorbing storyline.

The writing is very smooth - nice and easy to read, great description and imagination. Recht also uses both types of zombie: the fast '28 Days Later' kind, a...more
Kat
I've said before that Jonathan Maberry is responsible for my zombie obsession, but what I don't think I have spoken about before is that Z.A. Recht's The Morningstar Strain series cemented my love for the undead. As soon as I had finished Maberry's Patient Zero, I went on a hunt for another zombie book, and the first one that I picked up was Plague of the Dead, way back in 2009. In preparation of reading the final book in the series, I decided to go back and read the first two books again, even...more
Patrick D'Orazio
I am more interested in character development than I am in raw visceral appeal that is related to the horror in horror novels. Give me some folks to root for and I will read with baited breath every last bit of their stories. Sad when they died, thrilled when they live. Don't get me wrong, the raw fear and emotions, the violence and excitement of a zombie tale are what makes them appealing. It is just that without the first element listed above, the story is nothing more than just a gory bloodba...more
Jason
3 Stars

Plague of the Dead is a decent book one in a typical post apocalyptic zombie world. This book has much the same feel that The Autumn series by David Moody, but lacks the emotional impact that is delivered by the characters of that series.

""He's a zombie," breathed Julie.
" I suppose by definition he would be," Anna said. "But we at USAMRIID don't use sci-fi terms. We prefer to call him a
Deceased ambulatory viral host."

Hah even in death we have to be PC!

No explanations to the virus are...more
Robin Wiley
I watched the trailer for the new AMC series, "The Walking Dead", and couldn't wait until Halloween night to get my zombie on, so I'm on a bit of a bender.

"Monster Island"...uh, NO (see my review for details).
"Feed" - LOVED IT! (see my review for details).
"Forest of Hands and Teeth" - Did not love, but I am still thinking about it(see my review for details).

And now, "Plague of the Dead".

This has the most action since "World War Z". The book starts in Setember 2006 with a few emails from two of t...more
Evie
I'm hesitant to write a review for this book. I loved the book, but I'm loathe to trip through a review. My reviews tend to either read like book reports (which no one wants to read) or off target rambling (which no one should read). Despite that, I had to drop a few lines of praise into my 5 star review here.

This book is incredible. It's hard to do something new in the zombie apocalypse genre, and this book isn't anything vastly different from what's out there already. However, I do love the wa...more
Patrick
I wanted to like this book, but was never able to really like all of it. Between a ton of really obnoxious characters, a general lack of knowledge about the military, and horrible dialogue there is a lot that makes this a below average novel. It starts strong, but the middle is a chore to get through.

The characters keep making clueless and stupid choices. No one thinks about saving ammo, or to take heavy equipment with them. They also run around acting like B-grade action movie characters. At on...more
Kemper
I am a stone cold sucker for zombie stories. I don't care if they're the old school Romero shufflers or the new breed of 28 Days Later style runners, give me a story about the world being overrun by undead flesh eaters, and it makes me happy. This probably says something very disturbing about me.

This is pretty standard stuff. A virus code named Morningstar breaks out in Africa and *gasp* brings the dead back to life with a taste for the living. Efforts at containment fail and soon the entire pla...more
Jennifer
Usually, I can pick the survivors in a zombie novel. It's pretty easy. Just find the ones who aren't written like walking snackpacks, and root for them. In the case of Plague of the Dead, however, it becomes more difficult, as Recht focuses all his attentions on a gruelingly dull point-by-point military description of the initial zombie outbreak, leaving no time to flesh out his characters. His disinterest leads directly to the reader's disinterest... or at least my disinterest. Those more inte...more
Tracy
Woohoo! Finally got a new computer so I can start reviewing books again. And why not start out with a zombie book?

OK, so here's the thing about the zombie apocalypse: I have pretty much decided I am a goner when it happens. I can't shoot a gun, or a bow. I can't change a tire, especially if there were a group of the undead approaching. I don't have more than a few cans of soup and some bottles stored in my basement. (Yowza! I could get by for a week at least!) Heck, I couldn't even survive the R...more
Robert Beveridge
Z. A. Recht, The Morningstar Strain: Plague of the Dead (Permuted Press, 2006)

The late Zachary Recht died in December of 2009 at the age of twenty-six, leaving behind roughly half of the final book in the Morningstar Strain trilogy. Word on the street is that it will eventually be fleshed out by another author and released by Permuted, with the blessings of Recht's family. Good news indeed, as the Morningstar Strain books are quite a surprise, if you're not familiar with Permuted stuff. A number...more
Jason Bradley Thompson
Although not as bad as Joe McKinney's "Mutated" or Simon Clark's "Stranger," this is a dumb, and worse, boring zombie novel. The twist is that the 'infected' start out as 28 Days Later-style running zombies, but if you shoot 'em in the chest, they revive as Romero-style slow zombies; one hard-to-believe plot thread involves the US government trying to conceal the latter fact past the point of absurdity, hunting whistleblowers even after the zombies have already overrun the US.

The writing is weak...more
Tom
Yet another mediocre zombie book. Worth reading, but nothing really new or interesting. Starts off promising but has the usual zombie book problems.

Is the only way to write a zombie story to have the characters be brain damaged?(not talking about the zombie characters either). is there no other way to get to the zombies taking over?

as an example... (view spoiler)...more
Joe
_Plague of the Dead_ is, put simply, a zombie outbreak novel similar in many ways to Max Brooks' spectacular _World War Z_. (WWZ is told in a series of interviews while _Plague_ follows a traditional narrative format, but the manner in which the plague spreads and the military's fruitless efforts to contain it are similar.)
_Plague_ has some strong characters and some pretty awesome moments. You got to love a book where a soldier, already bitten and therefore terminal, hangs on to his grenade unt...more
Layth Gadoui

Plague of the Dead was the second book I read this summer. The sequel is Thunder and Ashes. This book explains how the zombie virus starts, and how people reacted to it. Major cities were bombed, and America tried to keep the virus out of the country. It all started in Africa, then to Australia and eventually America. That's when the panic started, and major cities were bombed. General Sherman and his surviving group from Africa and partly America were on a boat coming back to America as the pla

...more
Sirius Scientist
I had heard such good things about this book that the disappointment after having actually started it was crushing. I'm the first to admit my standards where probably higher than normal due to all the hype I'd been exposed to. The story was slow and the plot was somewhat predictable, though I did enjoy the "carrier" to "zombie" turn the author took. The term "carrier" is normally reserved for those creatures who have loss their humanity but remain alive and if that is the route the book takes, t...more
Nicholas
Jun 05, 2014 Nicholas rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: zombie/apocalypse enthusiasts
Not the best "zombie" novel ever, but not the worst. Predictable plot twists and shallow, cookie-cutter characters. There are some silly elements that make suspension of disbelief somewhat difficult. Regardless, despite being not very original, it's definitely entertaining - a good beach read, perhaps.

(view spoiler)...more
Joe
I'm not much of a horror fan but for some reason I can read zombie books over and over until the covers fall off. This was a really fast read but a pretty cool story. What's always kind of scary about these books is I find the way the authors describe people's mass panic and the break down of big governments to be very realistic. I've read a lot of articles on how this kind of fiction is actually a type of political commentary showing the flaws in society. However, I just read them for a good sc...more
outsyncof
Inconsistent.

Mr. Recht elegantly melds the infamous "fast versus slow" schools of zombie thought into one... and it is glorious. Unfortunately, the good stuff is buried 6 feet under the layers of cliché-ridden characters, uninspired encounters, and glaring plot holes.

Plague of the Dead definitely has enough meat on its bones to get me excited for the second novel in the trilogy. We'll see how it holds up!
Roxy
This book was well written, and pretty easy to read. In fact I finished it in two evenings. It starts out like most zombie books, with a strange virus that affects humans. The twist here is that you have two types of zombies: the living who have been taken over by the virus, and the reanimated dead. This leads to some interesting strategies. I likes this book enough to want to read the next in the trilogy.
Schnaucl
I really liked this book. There's not a whole lot new here but the characters and tight plot make up for it.

Half the story follows a US military company (as in group size, not a corporation) trying to hold the line against the infected while the rest shadows a USAMRID scientist who specializes in the Morningstar strain and the reporter who wants to break the story.

Gilliam
Apart from the B-Movie level characterization and dialogue, the plot is contingent upon supposedly smart, tactically minded professionals (particularly those in the military) conveniently overlooking the obvious or doing something uncharacteristically stupid.

I'm really not anxious to find out what happens next.
Joanie
Possibly the worst zombie book in the entire world. The book is written in an extremely annoying style, consisting of a constant narration of what people said and did. "He stood. He said, 'This has to end.' He turned and lifted his hand. He waved. He left the room." This book sucked.
Trevor
Apr 13, 2008 Trevor rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Zombies! Book group
Shelves: zombies
This is an extremely exciting, action-filled zombie book! Good character development makes and keeps readers emotionally engaged with the people on the pages. I just pre-ordered book 2 of Morningstar from Permuted Press. Can't wait to read it!
Ann237
I would have to say that the beginning of this book actually kind of made me nervous, really was not sure how much I was going to get into it. Well I'm glad I stuck with it! And I must add that this was a audible book due to the fact that I was not in a condition to be able to read due to my health at this point but I think that is what made the huge difference, the characters were great, the development of the characters were amazing, the narrator was beyond fantastic!! The voice changes from c...more
Becky Hoftiezer
I slogged through all three books of this, and I honestly don't know why. The characters were horribly flat and interchangeable, the women were characterized by hysteria and/or ineptitude, and the author obviously did shoddy or no research. Things like "We'll use PSYCHOLOGY to interrogate her!" and "He's obviously more educated than he pretends to be, he knows that the femoral artery is in the leg!" and people praising the general for "genius" battle strategies that a 12-year-old could easily de...more
Timm
Add this one to the top of the list in zombie literature along with World War Z and Day by Day: Armageddon. Loved the story, loved the characters, loved the book.
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