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The Gathering Dead (The Gathering Dead #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,671 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
The Horde Is Always Hungry...

The zombie apocalypse has begun, and Major Cordell McDaniels is given the most important mission of his career: lead a Special Forces team into New York City to rescue the one man who can stop the ghastly virus that reanimates the dead.

But as a growing army of flesh-eating corpses takes over the streets and a violent storm renders airborne ex
Kindle Edition, 276 pages
Published March 19th 2011 (first published March 17th 2011)
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Stephen Knight Hi Rose, sorry for the delay in answering. :) I can't quite recall where the inspiration came from, but I think a scene popped into my head while…moreHi Rose, sorry for the delay in answering. :) I can't quite recall where the inspiration came from, but I think a scene popped into my head while listening to a movie soundtrack (The Haunting, by Jerry Goldsmith). It was of soldiers standing on the roof of a midtown skyscraper in NYC and looking out over streets and avenues just full of the dead.

I worked in the Army's aviation branch for about 10 years, and Gartrell is a composite of several troops I knew during that time (most notably, a command sergeant major named Moon Mullins. You wouldn't want to piss off the sarmajor.)(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Stacy Eaton
May 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I will be honest in saying that it took me a few chapters to get into this. Not because of any fault of the author, this was my first zombie book and getting accustomed to it and the military jargon took a few chapters.

With that said, once I got the military jargon down and understood what a zombie actually was this book sucked me in and got my adrenaline running so many times, I felt like I had been a true part of it. The story was full of action from the first page to the very last.

The author
Mar 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: discarded
Too many paragraphs consisting of gadget acronyms and equipment inventories—so much so I thought I was perusing an Army Surplus catalogue. With little in the way of writing style or narrative pull to persuade me I finally said: "**** it" and moved on to my next read.
Vincent Hobbes
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was the first zombie story I've ever read, so I don't have much to compare it to. I found the writing was fast-paced, and quite enjoyable. Good story about a team of civilians and soldiers trying to make it to safety in New York, surrounded by millions of zombies. The ideas weren't necessarily all that original, but the author paints a vivid picture, and it was a page-turner.

I definitely suggest if you like zombie stories.

May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Holy smokes, this was an intense zombie ride.
Lots of military jargon, action and dying. I will definitely read #2.
Jairus Reddy
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great zombie novel!! Picking up the sequel asap
The zombie apocalypse has hit New York and the military are evacuating the important people while the ordinary people are left to the mercy of the zombies. McDaniels has two teams in two helicopters to evacuate a scientist and his daughter who may have the basis for a cure. When one helicopter is overrun and the other crash lands, the survivors barricade themselves into a building with a few civilians to wait for help to arrive. But the zombies outside include the other half of the team and they ...more
Faye, la Patata
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: zombie
I bought this the other day and man, I finished it in one sitting! This was a really good zombie book for me. It may be as good as 187 - Almost Hell by Eric Lowther. I enjoyed it so much that the ending blew me away, which is not something that happens very often. I felt sad, but happy at the same time. It wasn't exactly the best ending, but it's the kind of ending that leaves you with a fuzzy feeling, an ending that makes you think and really feel for the characters. I swear that by the of the ...more
Nov 19, 2013 rated it liked it

“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.” - George Eliot. The Gathering Dead by Stephen Knight, this book is about a group of soldiers who are sent into New York to rescue Dr. Safire who knows how to cure a disease that turns people into zombies.This books is very interesting, there are parts that make it awesome. Yet there are still parts that are very frustrating.The Gathering Dead is an interesting story due to its intense/ frustrating action scenes, dialog
Book Him Danno
Sep 15, 2011 rated it liked it
For starts it is your typical zombie story, some unknown antigen is sent into the general population and only one person has the cure and the military is sent to save that person.

The book starts off with the epidemic that has already spread and the military is trying to stop it from spreading outside of New York City. The book has some graphic scenes and some strong language but again it is a Zombie book and if it wasn't graphic I would be very shocked. I have to admit the first few pages had me
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
***minor spoilers***

Stephen Knight's The Gathering Dead is an exciting tale about a group of special forces members trapped in a zombie-ridden New York City. Their chopper goes down while trying to extract a VIP, Dr. Wolf Safire, who has valuable knowledge of the zombie virus and may be able to produce a cure. They are forced to hole up in an office building while they try to figure out another plan to get Dr. Safire and his daughter, Regina, out of the crumbling city.

For the most part, I found
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Just finished this book (2 days, much quicker than my last book, The Heroes, though not better...just different). Another zombie survival story, this one is centered around an elite military unit whose mission is to extract the sole surviving researcher who might have something of a cure for the zombie plague. Throughout the book, they're always under pressure, so it doesn't ever really let up on the tension. I still think my favorite zombie book to date is World War Z, but this one did a really ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow, stupid and shambling. No, that's not how I like my men, but how I like my zombies. Yeah, I'm old school, but I'm a disciple of the original Romero zombies. So sue me.

The Gathering Dead was well written, thoroughly researched, but when the zombies start using weapons and driving taxis, then the book loses points in my eyes. I did finish it, because the antagonism between two of the characters intrigued me and I wanted to see if the zombies weren't the only threat to human life.

But the senti
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
i read some reviews and got this book. i really enjoyed it. the story is about a group of soldiers trying to save some people from new york while there are millions of zombies everywhere. the group get caught in a builing and have to fight off the zombies and hopefully make it to safety. very good writing but i did notice a few editing errors but nothing major. this book was nonstop action and i think everyone should read it if you like horror and zombies.
When zombies in uniforms start showing up you will really have to suspend your disbelief, but they're Stephen Knight's zombies and he can make them do whatever he wants. It was still good enough that I didn't want to put it down. This was neither the best nor the worst zombie book I've read this year.
Aug 05, 2011 rated it liked it
If you love Zombie movies you will enjoy this book it reads like a movie. I love the slight twist that takes the Zombies to a whole new level. I have to admit I wanted the most of the Army guys to survive but I knew it wasn't going to happen. I thought this book was fun for being my first Zombie book.
Tim Petersik
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it
if you like solid action zombie novels with the shallowest of character development, then this book is for you. I liked it for the adrenalin rush(es), but didn't care all that much about the major players in the story. nonetheless, there was some plot here--an effort to save the one man who may be able to stem the zombie plague.
Shawn Manning
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
The one thing this book has going for it is the use of military jargon. The problem is that it is saturated in it to the point of distraction. I really didn't have strong feelings about any of the characters and felt I had seen them and the plot many times before.
May 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
I bought this book for 99 cents. It wasn't bad. It was a little slow at the start for me, but didn't take long to get hooked. I fell into the characters even though it was more military than anything. I gave it 4 stars based on the price and content wasn't half bad either.
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
A typical zombie book. Zombies eat people and people try to get away. However since for some unkown reason I love the zombie genre so I thought this was a great book and the start to a great series.
Robert Breault
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book and the novella were very well done. Easy read and really pulls you into the story line as if you were there. Being former military, the "jargon" was easy to follow. Very enjoyable. Can't wait for the next edition...
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is basically the zombie apocalypse told from the view of the military, as a military operation. Not much for character building. Lots of military lingo. Maybe it's just for a different audience, but I didn't like it.
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
suggested by an author friend. best zombie book ive ever read.
Michelle Purvis
Jun 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Well written zombie vs. military strike force story. Both interesting and exciting to read, I will definitely be reading more of Stephen Knight!
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Just finished reading "The Gathering Dead." Talk about a nail biter! I now am in serious need of a manicure.
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
A great zombie book. Plenty of zed action. After finishing this, I immediately downloaded the follow up novella to my nook. Gotta find out what happens to Gartrell!
Diane Berry
Jul 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Many books in this genre are poorly written and trite, but not this book. Fast paced, suspenseful, and great characters make this an awesome read.
Keith Blackmore
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
My full review is on, but this was better than "World War Z" in my opinion.
Vote: 3,10
Class: L-B1 (FP)

(First book of the Series)

An action-packed military-zombie novel easy to read and entertaining.
The story is very simple and never surprising but the writing style is captivating and the characters are... passable.
I'm not going to read the sequel though.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Way too heavy on both military jargon and random sexist nonsense. I stopped reading when he started describing in too-intimate detail the only female character's immediate sexual arousal for no reason when a mildly cute soldier says two words to her. Didn't even get as far as the intelligent zombies or what the fuck ever.
Carl Merritt
Dec 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Stephen Knight...

Other Books in the Series

The Gathering Dead (4 books)
  • Left with the Dead (The Gathering Dead, #1.5)
  • The Rising Horde: Volume One (The Gathering Dead, #2)
  • The Rising Horde: Volume Two (The Gathering Dead, #3)

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