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State of Decay

(Revivors #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  363 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
View our feature on James Knapp’s State of Decay.Just because you're dead doesn't mean you're useless...

A thrilling debut novel of a dystopian future populated by a new breed of zombie

They call them revivors-technologically reanimated corpses-and away from the public eye they do humanity's dirtiest work. But FBI agent Nico Wachalowski has stumbled upon a conspiracy in
Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by Roc (first published January 19th 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Vampires and werewolves have been all the rage for awhile but zombies are rapidly becoming the "it" thing in paranormal fiction. Most zombie fiction is typically envisioned in the style of Night of the Living Dead, in which the shambling undead attack the living in an attempt to assuage their insatiable hunger. James Knapp's new book, State of Decay, takes all the familiar tropes of zombie fiction and gives them a real world spin that is both convincing and plausible.

Nico Wachalowski is an FBI a
Jessica Strider
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Pros: well imagined world with a 3 tier citizenship system, interesting characters, extremely complex plot, lots of plot twists, keeps you on your toes and guessing about what will happen next

Pro/Con (depending on your point of view): everything that happens is important, so pay close attention when you read

Cons: redundant repetition

If you don't like the think when you read, you won't like State of Decay. So much happens all at once, and all of it is important. It took me about a hundred pages o
Jul 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
When I first found this book (here on Goodreads) I was really intrigued by the story concept. It turns out I was on the mark as State of Decay was a book I really liked.

The book is a mixture of horror and science fiction with a mystery developing throughout and is written from the alternating perspective of some of the main characters. This was to the advantage of keeping suspense up as you are often dropped into another character at cliffhanger moments.

My only real problem with the book was th
May 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is one of the scariest books that I've read in a long time. The whole premise of the book gives me shudders.

In the future, there are distinct classes of citizens. 1st Class citizens either have a lot of money or have chosen to serve in the military. 2nd Class citizens either have money as well or have agreed to give their bodies over to become Revivors after their death.

Revivors are corpses that have been reanimated, but have only the purpose set for them in their programming. Everyone be
Brad Clarkston
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
This a great zombie book with a modern twist. It's as much a thriller as SciFi with just a dash of dystopia thrown in for good measure.

It's well written and fast paced and doesn't start to drag until the end which is understandable since there isn't a happy ending in site.

Well worth the read especially at $6.39 on the Kindle.
Mar 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am going to recommend this one with reservations. On the plus side, it was fresh, innovative and exciting until.... they introduced the psychic which marred the believability of the plot a bit. It was still a very unusual premise and the writing style sucked you in. Worth reading and an author to watch.
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I am not a big sci-fi fan but I really enjoyed this one. I loved the mystery and felt that the resolution was actually a good pay off. The characters were also fairly interesting to me and I'm looking forward to reading more of the series.
Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: sci-fi fans
So this was an interesting read. There was a lot of interesting things, but some things were confusing.

First of all, this was a fascinating take on the whole zombies thing. It talks about these things called "revivors", which are reanimated people (aka zombies) but they are more like trained zombies. They don't go around eating human flesh. No, in this almost dystopian world, the government uses these revivors for all sorts of things, from war soldiers to hookers (yea that part was a little awk
Nov 26, 2010 rated it liked it
State of Decay is the first book in the Revivors series by James Knapp and a ROC Fantasy.

Book Blurb:

They call them revivors - technologically reanimated corpses - and away from the public eye, they do humanity's dirtiest work. In the near future, where a never-ending war drones on, they are the infantry. Back home, they sustain a black-market trade in labor and pleasure models.

If Nico Wachalowski never sees another revivor, it will be too soon. He chose to fight alongside - and against - them ra
Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-5-stars
Plot: 3.5 Stars
The zombies in this novel were very interesting and original. And so were the regular citizens. There were different tier to citizenship, depending on your job and whether or not you decided to allow yourself to become a revivor, or zombie. It was an interesting play on the normal class structure. Some parts of the novel were a touch confusing or glossed over, but I love a good government conspiracy theory. Something plot points left me scratching my head for chapters on end, but
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was interesting. It gives a different take on zombies, though in a way they didn't really seem like zombies; in the book, they're called "revivors," which are reanimated bodies with electronic parts that makes them obey commands. People in this dystopian society can volunteer to become revivors after their deaths in exchange for a better life. These are definitely not your "eat your brains" zombies.

I thought the writing was great. there are 4 POVs all told in first-person; there are a
STATE OF DECAY (Revivors #1) is a read I’d picked up solely because I was fortunate enough to win a copy of ELEMENT ZERO (Revivors #3) from the author James Knapp on goodreads. Not yet being familiar with the trilogy, I thought I’d better check the first two books before diving into my prize. To be honest, this is a series that probably would never have hit my radar had it not been for the giveaway. I do enjoy sci-fi, which is why I threw my name into the hat when EZ came up on the giveaway list ...more
Feb 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, sf, zombies
Oh, this was a fun one. James Knapp's State of Decay, the first of his Revivors series, put forth a nice take on zombies: a futuristic society where people can be reanimated via technological means. Volunteering to have yourself reanimated upon your death comes with the temptation of improvement of your citizenship ranking, and many unknowing citizens go for it. But there is, of course, the obligatory Dirty Secret.

The so-called "revivors" are kept out of the public eye, serving as mercenaries in
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I just re-read this for the... 3rd time, I think. I unabashedly love this book, even though I admit I fell slightly less in love with the series as it went on. Fine literature perhaps it ain't, but I think it's a really fascinating and well-fleshed-out interpretation of the zombie theme. I love that it explores the commodification of conscious, thinking, semi-human beings in a way that feels completely plausible (and therefore extra creepy) to me.

It's interesting to me to read other people's rev
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: balticon, 2011books
I have to be honest - I would have NEVER picked up or even looked at this book had it not won the Compton Crook award. I think this is mostly due to the cover - it's okay, but I think it does a disservice to the book - I was under the distinct impression that this was a military action book (with zombies) while it was MUCH more like a murder mystery (with zombies). I am a big fan of mysteries, and have read a lot of them, and I am ALSO a fan of scifi/fantasy - these two genres rarely meet. (Or r ...more
Nicole Bates
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sff
Intense and gritty, this hard sci-fi thriller is a must read for any fans of the darker places that speculative fiction can take you. James Knapp has blended the best elements of the first and third person perspectives in order to allow the reader to see the story from several different angles, yet still feel a near-visceral connection with each of the main characters. Initially this made it difficult to decide who to care the most about. I soon discovered that I cared for each of the characters ...more
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
I just could not get into this book and ended up setting it down about a quarter of the way in.

Set in a dystopian future world where people are segregated into Tiers and the dead (Revivors) are converted for use as servants, workers, sex slaves, etc, State of Decay never really grabbed me. The story follows several people. One is a federal agent looking into some kind of illegal business involving revivors. Then you have a beat cop, a professional female fighter, and a girl with some kind of par
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book ended up being completely different from what I expected going in, which was a very good thing! Not your typical zombie narrative, State of Decay involves a lot of technological science fiction, futuristic dystopian cities, combined with a healthy dosing of an old fashioned mystery novel. I would honestly have tried to market this book as Cyberpunk instead of a zombie horror novel.

I'm loving the characters I met in this story. They are a nice blend of realistic and gritty, which ties i
Eleanor With Cats
Whoa. Totally did not expect this book to be like this, or to have any of the cool surprises. Nico, Faye, and Zoe are awesome, and I love how Knapp made his third female main character a kickass professional fighter. I'm really impressed a guy made three of his four main characters female and totally cool.

I always seem to find the atypical zombie novels, even though I've never really been into zombies, and am not looking for zombie novels. They just sort of shamble into my way. But I've already
Jul 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, zombie
I read this much faster than I thought I would.

The world has changed (or perhaps it is another is never quite clear) -- there are tiers of people (made me think of the Indian cast system) -- while it is possible to be born into tier one, it seems you need something special to be there, or you need to serve in the military (as there is an ongoing-neverending war) -- you can also sign up to serve in the war posthumously -- yeah, as a revivor (read - zombie) -- kind of creepy. You sell
This book has a completely different approach to "zombies". Are they dead, yes, do they eat brains? Not really. But hey they are dead that qualifies as zombie-esque for me.

They are really "revivors" - people die and they are brought back with technology to be used in this seemingly never ending war (which you really don't learn much about). They are also used for other sordid things, like blow up dolls, without the blowing up of course.

It is well written and paced and I already own the next one
Hali Sowle
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
A good first novel and a different take on the zombie story. Revivors are people who agree to be turned into zombies. These revivors are used as troops in war and as riot control in cities. They are also abused as sex toys and slaves. Someone is selling black market revivors and Agent Wachalowski, former soldier, now FBI agent, is trying to find out who and why, because some of these revivors are not following orders. The book is told from a few first person view points - Nico Wachalowski, Zoe O ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, sf, zombies
The first chapter and a half of this novel are rough. The author crams 4 perspectives (5 perspective shifts) into the first 44 pages of the book. It’s too much bouncing and while things eventually reveal themselves to be relevant in the end, you do feel as though half of what you’re reading is utterly unimportant. And the perspective switch – via bold heading – is a bit jarring at first.

Luckily, that little bump is the only thing that holds this novel back.
The plot itself is beautifully – or in
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
I seem to be in the minority but I didn't think much of this book. Initially, I found it a bit confusing but kept at it because I was sure the stories of the different people would mesh (they did) and things would be explained (not so much). I felt like I was missing paragraphs or chapters that would have more fully explained the world these people were living in. I must admit that at the end of the book I didn't really 'get' what the whole hoopla was about, yep, definately felt as if I was miss ...more
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked the opening, so I bought this book expecting it to be okay. I was pleasantly surprised. I stayed up way too late and finished it the same day I got it. Now I am excited to read the sequel.

It had some problems. Hollywood hacking and some questionable (minor) plot points kept me reminding myself to suspend disbelief. To help with that I like to sing part of the MST3K theme song to myself. "If you're wondering how he eats and breathes / And other science facts / Repeat to yourself 'It's jus
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I picked it up from the library becuase I won the second one, The Silent Army, from Goodreads, and I hadn't read this one yet, so I wanted to know what the story was like.

Man, was it good! I just loved it, the characters, the complexity, all the jumping around from character from character, and I really enjoyed it, thought before I got to know the characters, it was a bit confusing, but then it made sense.

This was a good book, and it made me very glad that I won The Silent Ar
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I cannot claim lack of bias, I read James' book because we went to high school together. It took me a little to get going, but once hooked I was all in.

The world is a fascinating dystopian place like a dark, grungy p k dick. The revivors are NOT zombies and we are all so much the better for it. They are fascinating and force the reader to contemplate the meaning of consciousness - not light stuff.

Gruesome in parts? Absolutely.

I look forward to reading book 2.

Well done James! Oyster River sh
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
FBI Agent Nico Wachalowski is investigating illegal shipments of reanimated corpses used as soldiers. Police officer Faye Dassalia is racing to catch a serial killer before she loses her mind. Zoe Ott, a drunken recluse, has already lost hers, but is much more than she seems. Calliope Flax is a third rate citizen and arena fighter. All become entangled in a war so secret no one is even aware of the two sides existence. Starts off slow, but quickly gains speed. I'm hoping to pick up book 2 this a ...more
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
The only real faults with State of Decay seem to be the province of the publishers, whose cover design obscures both the fact that this is very much the first in a series and that three of the four viewpoint characters are female.

Otherwise, Knapp creates a believable future filled with interesting and well rounded characters, and with a snowballing plot that brings all of the protagonists together in a satisfying and logical way. I'll be looking for the sequel, especially if it continues the goo
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