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Dead Sea (Dead Sea)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,136 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews
In 2003, Brian Keene's The Rising revived horror literature's dormant obsession with zombies. In 2007, Brian Keene's Dead Sea knocked that obsession on its ass... The city streets are no longer safe. They are filled instead with the living dead, rotting predators driven only by a need to kill and eat. Some of the living still struggle to survive, but with each passing day, ...more
Paperback, 217 pages
Published May 21st 2011 by Deadite Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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Posted at Shelf Inflicted

Brian Keene’s Dead Sea is a little different from his earlier zombie stories. In The Rising and City of the Dead, the zombies carried rifles, were intelligent, and drove cars. In Dead Sea, they are the more traditional shambling, empty-eyed, mindless variety. The end of the world began in New York City, when people were attacked by swarms of undead rats. The infected died and came back to life. Once the infection (known as Hamelin’s Revenge) spread to the city of Baltim
⊱ Irena ⊰
Jul 15, 2014 ⊱ Irena ⊰ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombies, horror
If you are looking for a great survival zombie novel, look no further. This is a very dark run for your life and keep moving type of story. The story is told in the first person narrative by a very likeable character.

The protagonist is Lamar Reed, an African American gay man who spent all his life fighting stereotypes mostly succeeding. Even though he grew up in the worst part of the city he fought against becoming a criminal. He finished school. He lost his job a couple of months before the eve
This was such a delightful book to breeze through, well delightful if you like icky zombies laced into an apocalyptic theme with no signs of victory. Fast paced and exciting, the novel was a fun break from anything else on my mind, I liked the characters and feared for their safety as the author took charge in making them run for their lives. I haven't read Keene's previous zombie books but I didn't feel that it took away from this story, on the contrary it makes me want to revisit his older boo ...more
Erin (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder*
As a huge horror fan of both films and novels, you may be surprised to find I'm not a big zombie addict. While most of my fellow horror hounds go that route, there has never been much to appeal to me about when it comes to rotting corpses stumbling around looking for brains. That being said, Keene has made quite a name for himself in the literary world as one of the best writers of the zombie sub-genre out there. Deciding to ignore the ending of his last and take it to a new direction, Dead Sea ...more
Jonathan Janz
Jul 14, 2013 Jonathan Janz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brian Keene's Dead Sea might sound like The Rising at first glance. Same author, same genre, same sub-genre. But that's where the similarities end. While I loved both books, I love them in very different ways. Dead Sea is in some ways a more innocent book than The Rising; the presence of the children and the nature of their relationship to the narrator of Dead Sea endows the book with a sweetness that surprised me. However, the bleakness of the book is more pronounced than it was in The Rising. ...more
Aug 18, 2014 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Brian Keene breathed new life into the zombie genre with The Rising and City of the Dead with an excellent slant on zombie lore.

Dead Sea is apart from that world. Here we have the standard zombie we all know and love: slow, stupid, disgusting, and ravenous. There are also a few non-standards up his sleeve, but I'll leave that up to discovery.

As always, Keene's pace is relentless, the story moves along like gangbusters. It's not my favorite of his (Ghoul takes that one, I think), but it's still v
Apr 14, 2014 Nora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror

What a great mixture of action stuffed zombiecalypse and moving thoughts about the sense of life, why mindkind tries to survive in times of despair. Keene created a really thrilling horror scenario that overlaps just bloody fights against the undead. Furthermore "Dead sea" discusses the old theories of the archetypes and the existence of a collective subconscious - who is a hero, who is a survivor ? One of the things I admired most about "Dead Sea" is that the narrator is a gay black male na
Aug 28, 2011 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2011
4.5 Stars

This is a tried and true straight up zombie horror novel. There is nothing really new, no unusual twists on the theme, and definitely no fantastical type ending. It is however very well written. Fast paced and filled with horror, action, and a bit of the human spirit too. I really enjoyed Keene's writing and felt that he created a top notch zombie book.

Our protagonist Lamar, is a likable gay, African American, that has worked his whole life attempting to never give in to awful stereotyp
Apr 04, 2008 Rich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Ghoul, was a mixed bag of sorts. At it's worst points, it came off as an overblown love letter to the 1980's. That, in and of itself, it not necessarily a bad thing, it's just that Keene felt the urgent need to over-explain his '80s pop cultural references -- so much so, that expository paragraphs began intruding on the narrative pace of the book, taking attention away from the characters and the dilemmas they faced. On the other hand, Keene had accomplished some interesting things with that boo ...more
Ken Heard
If you want to read the best book ever on zombies and social complaints about prejudism toward blacks, gays and poverty, this one is it. I found it to be too preachy and schizophrenic.

The premise is simple: something has caused people to die and turn into zombies. Then, in their bloodlust for human flesh (don't all zombies go through that?) they kill others and convert them into zombism.

The narrator, a black gay man in Baltimore, befriends two children and helps them escape the city on a large
Apr 23, 2010 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombies
I've read this book several times for some reason (there's a zombie tiger!) and out of all of Brian Keene's books I like this one the best (Conqueror Worm isn't that bad either though). Needed something light to read at doctor's office and this one fits the bill, gruesome enough to take your mind off any troubles, and can be read in just a few hours.

Plucky orphan children? Check! Menacing law enforcement? Check! Priest gone insane and helping the zombies? Check! Every country's government crumb
Sep 16, 2008 Unapologetic_Bookaholic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of survival/zombie horror, smart horror
Right away the action begins and the fight for survival is do or die. Rats pour out of the sewars already infected and start infecting humans and the zomification starts.

The characters are never typical but at least have sense enough to have a plan. Will it work? Or will they end up surrounded by zombies and have to come up with something fast.

Ok, this is zombie survival, but I think Brian Keene wrote it in the most likely way possible, given the circumstances. Human survival doesn't last fore
Michael Fierce
I couldn't put the book down for the life of me.
Jon Stutfield
Jan 27, 2015 Jon Stutfield rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"A fucking zombie whale"

Why do I read this crap?
Dustin Reade
Jun 13, 2011 Dustin Reade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Keene's Zombie books that I have read, and it is doozy. Full of intense gore, non-stop action, and amazingly well developed characters (everyone has a believable back story), this is one of the finest works of zombie fiction I have so far read. I see now why he is often referred to as a "Master of the genre". He earned the title with this one alone, I'm telling you.
First off, in this book, Brian Keene does something I have always admired in the work of Philip K. Dick. That i
P. Aaron Potter
Mar 24, 2012 P. Aaron Potter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Post-Romero zombie stories have a hell of an uphill battle to wage: we have to care enough about the protagonists that we want them to escape the shambling hordes, while still knowing that the world has absolutely turned to crap, and that their actual hope of permanently escaping said hordes is approximately zero, and that *even if they do,* the world they can look forward to is going to totally suck. There's no way for them to "win."

This can work in short fiction, and has, where we don't need t
Martin Belcher
Jun 27, 2011 Martin Belcher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Lamar Reed; a man fighting for survival when a strange new virus nicknamed "Hamelin's Revenge" infects humans from rats and causes them to become the walking dead.

Lamar battles his way out of downtown Baltimore trying to keep himself from being eaten by the living dead. He is joined by a young boy and girl, Malik and Tasha who have lost their mum to the dead.

They have an idea to make it to the Baltimore waterfront and marina to get on a boat to escape the dead hoards in th
Patrick D'Orazio
Nov 05, 2010 Patrick D'Orazio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The very first review I posted on Amazon was for City of the Dead, but it was a combination review of that book and The Rising, since I had read them back to back. Although Brian Keene did not introduce me to zombie books his were the first mass market paperbacks that I had read in the sub-genre. Since then I have read and reviewed numerous other titles. Brian is certainly one of the more polished writers working with the rotting buggers but I have to admit that in some ways his books are ones t ...more
Dan C.
Oct 03, 2009 Dan C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only other book of Brian Keene's I have read is The Rising, but I enjoyed his take on zombies in that book, so I looked forward to reading this. Even better, in this book you get Romero-ish zombies - slow, shuffling hungry undead vs. the intelligent ones in The Rising.

This book paints a pretty bleak picture of the world after Hamelin's Revenge, a virus originating in rats that kills and then reanimates the dead. I enjoyed the main character who filled the "everyman" role quite well. There wa
Jun 28, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Shockingly, I preferred this to it's two predecessors. My only issue with this book is that, it comes across as a third in the series... Frankie is mentioned as well as the scene in the zoo, which would imply that this takes place concurrently with City of the Dead, however these Zombies are completely different... sure they are still Zombies, but rather than the intelligent, tool using, car driving zombies of the first two books, these are slow moving stupid zombies, which I was entirely okay w ...more
Mar 12, 2008 Jon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Weak. That is the best description I have for Keene's latest zombie novel. Not one of his best works by any stretch of the imagination. This novel was unnecessary. As were the hints dropped throughout the book referencing characters/events from The Rising and City of the Dead. And for a novel entitled Dead Sea, it took them forever to actually get on the boat and out to sea. And when they did, it didn't get any better at all. The characters aren't interesting in the least and I found myself not ...more
John Wiltshire
I quite enjoyed this zombie story. I don't actually read zombie books normally, but this was recommended so I gave it a go. I liked the main (gay) protagonist, and the story really stormed along. Never a dull moment. I don't think there's much else to say really. Not exactly original. Zombie plague, guy on his own picks up two kids who need his protection. They manage to get on a ship with twenty or so others. More zombies. One interesting feature was the cross-species infection. The plague star ...more
May 20, 2015 Marsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terror
Me ha gustado mucho este libro: Mar Muerto, de Brian Keene.
Buscaba un libro autoconclusivo de zombis huyendo de las habituales sagas de esta temática. Y vi que Mar Muerto lo era. Además quería repetir experiencia con Brian Keene del cual había leído Ghoul en inglés. Así pues, animado por las buenas críticas que había visto por Internet me lo compré no hace ni un mes.
La historia es muy entretenida, con bastante ritmo y tiene algunos puntos originales dentro del subgéneros Z (aunque tampoco soy un
Jonathan Echevarria
Jun 02, 2015 Jonathan Echevarria rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Zombies
Recommended to Jonathan by: Natasa
Brian Keene has often expressed how he is finished with zombies, more specifically he feels he has written everything he wants to say about the undead. Dead Sea feels like his last statement on the zombie genre, because we don't explore too much uncharted territory that wasn't already revealed in The Rising. Even though Brian has expressed a disenchantment with the zombie franchise, Dead Sea does continue to deliver genuine fears that were felt in Earthworm Gods and Darkness on the Edge of Town. ...more
 (shan) Littlebookcove
I'm so excited to tell you all about this book!

I randomly picked it up as it was in the same section as the the Beatles book I’ve just recently finished. I'm Soooo glad I did! Its fantastic! This was my 1st book I’ve ever read of Brian Keene's.
To be honest the cover kind of got to me. But the saying is so true that you must never judge a book by it's cover and I whole heartily agree.

The city streets are no longer safe. They are filled instead with the living dead, rotting predators driven only
Tanja Berg
Rating 3*/5. It's been a year or so since I read my first zombie novel - "World War Z" - and there have been several since. I did not find that "Dead Sea" brought anything new to the table. Except the protagonist, I can't recall any of the prevoius heros (nor villains, for that matter), being gay black men. So yes, Lamar Reed has a lot more on his plate than just the plague of zombies. Despite the world falling down around everyone's ears he still suffers from prejudice (having done nothing to d ...more
Ryan G
Jun 12, 2013 Ryan G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had tried a Brian Keene book before, Urban Gothic, and I really didn't care all that much for it. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure if I even finished it. I didn't enjoy it, found nothing new about it, and am still surprised I was willing to give another of his books a try.

There is nothing new about a zombie apocalypse destroying all humanity, wiping the human race off the face of the Earth. It's been done so many times, and there are only so many ways the story can be told. I'm not even
Apr 09, 2008 Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Brian Keene’s Dead Sea is a post-apocalyptic novel that features a motley crew who each fight their way through Baltimore to the harbor, where they board a retired Coast Guard cutter, and head to sea. The hero, Lamar Reed, is a gay, black man from the ghetto, who lived his life on the straight and narrow until he lost his factory job, and the outbreak of Hamelin’s Revenge, which turns its victims into zombies.

Lamar encounters two orphans during his escape; they team up with a Rambo-type to make
Aug 01, 2014 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombies
Holy crap. I just finished this one, so excuse me if I'm still trying to process it. I've only read a handful of zombie novels, but I can easily say that this was one of the freakiest. It starts out with this guy named Lamar, a gay African-American who is hiding out with his neighbor, Alan, during the zombie apocalypse. Alan unfortunately gets bitten at some point, and Lamar goes off on his own until he runs into a couple of kids that he takes under his wing. They receive help from another man, ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Caroline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: zombie fans
I enjoyed this little romp through zombie land. Keene built up a main character (Lamar) whom I enjoyed following along. This book paints a very bleak and desperate portrait of the zombie virus (Hamelin's Revenge) as it spreads across species, infecting humans, animals, and keeps spreading. Some of the zombified species felt a little off to me, as if they were shoehorned in there for the sake of making any/all animals zombified.

The supporting cast was enjoyable, even if they were only briefly int
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BRIAN KEENE writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies. Keene’s novels have be ...more
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“... When you died, you were supposed to live on in the memories of others. That's what I'd always been told. Didn't matter what you believed, which religion you subscribed to, what god you worshipped. The simple fact was that none of us knew what lay beyond. Immortality and eternal life? The only sure shot at that was the memories of those you left behind - your friends and family...” 3 likes
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