I decided to break down and give in to a friend's urging to read some zombie fiction. I intended to read World War Z first, since that seems to be the most popular and "mainstream" zombie novel. Well, my friend convinced me to read Plague of the Dead first. I was skeptical of reading zombie fiction, since I had the notion that zombies were something better experienced in movies and on TV. In a way, I was very wrong.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The novel gave something that most zombie movies don't: in-depth character exploration. Granted, some of the soldier characters seemed to blend together for me. But most of the major characters were very distinct individuals.
One of the things I was skeptical of was how the author would handle the stereotypical trappings of the genre, namely the beginning of the zombie apocalypse and the depiction of the downfall of civilization. He handled both well, I think, but at times the downfall part of things seemed like it was glossed over, and not well described. This made me wonder if the author believed his audience would mostly include zombie genre veterans. I'm not sure how I feel about how a writer should approach the writing of a zombie novel. Should they assume the reader is well-versed? I think I need to think more on that...
I suppose I like the fact that the zombies started out similar to what was used in the movie 28 Days Later, and then became the classic undead version. BUT, this novel used the old "strange virus" as the cause for the dead rising. I just feel that that's getting a bit old.
I do intend to read the next novel soon. But the author died before finishing the third novel in the series. There's rumors that someone else is finishing that last book, but time will tell, as they say.