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Empire (Empire #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,094 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
The year i s 2112.

T he crippled U.S. government and its military forces are giving up the century-long fight against an undead plague. Born of an otherworldly energy fused with a deadly virus, the ravaging hordes of zombified humans and a nimals have no natural enemies. But they do have one supernatural enemy: Death himself.

Descending upon the ghost town of Jefferson Harbo
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 16th 2010 by Pocket Books (first published April 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

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harlequin {Stephanie}
This had so much potential. Death fighting zombies. What more could you ask for?

Where to start? I liked the beginning. The gore didn't really bother me and when death came on the scene I was giddy with what was gonna happen next.

Unfortunately death gets little time on the scene. The rest of the book was filled with shifting pov onto characters that were not memorable. In short, it was all over the place. I will probably read the second book out of curiosity.
Dec 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the zombie genre and post-apocalyptic novels.
Shelves: zombies
This is an interesting novel about my favorite film and literature object; the living dead. The story takes place over fifty years after an outbreak of the living dead. America is losing the war against the walking corpses and continues to move all its citizens to more populated and secure areas.

Outside of the main plot, the story follows a few groups: a spoiled and crazy young man and his pack of domesticated zombies, a group of people who were stranded in a community or chose to remain behind
Patrick D'Orazio
Nov 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Empire takes place a century from now, long after the rise of the plague that caused the dead to rise. These zombies are a bit different than what we have seen in other works though: the dead have always had the ability to rise up when near places that are a "source" of supernatural power, but the plague came because the power of the source was laced with a deadly virus that allows their bites to transfer their infection, allowing them to perpetuate it and carry it through the entire human popul ...more
Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally, there comes a novel that deals with the one victim of a zombie apocalypse that few ever consider: Death, the Grim Reaper, the dude with the big scythe. Just imagine, you're doing your job well for untold years - with nary a vacation day, I might add - and then suddenly all those dead souls you're supposed to collect just start falling off the radar. Over a century after the outbreak began, Death finally takes it upon himself to get up close and personal with the undead. While he may not ...more
Rhiannon Frater
Mar 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

I devoured this book in two days. I was hooked from the very beginning. I am a big fan of David Dunwoody's works via the two short story collections I recently read by him. I have also enjoyed his short stories included in anthologies, but had yet to read the novel he is praised for. I own both editions of Empire. The original Permuted Press edition was personally signed for me at Horror Realm, and I ordered the new S & S Gallery version as soon as it went on pre-order. So as you ca
Christiane Evaskis-Garrett
UGH. So much potential in this book and most of it wasted. The author seemed unable to decide whether he wanted the story to be: 1) supernatural and Lovecraft-like, 2) a gritty, military Band of Brothers tale, 3) a survival against the odds, 4) commentary on the US government or 5) Death (the horseman) shows up and takes back the world from the zombies. It feels like he just threw all of these ideas against a wall and hoped that a coherent story came out of it. I'm sure you could guess how that ...more
Oct 19, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2008, zombie
1 star.

I’m not, generally speaking, a zombie-lover, but the premise of Empire just sounded too good to pass up:

The year is 2112 and for over a century a hideous virus has plagued mankind, transforming almost every man, woman, and child into the living dead. And while that’s certainly a problem for humanity, it’s an even bigger problem for someone—or something—else, i.e. Death. That’s right. Death. The Grim Reaper, the Fourth Horseman, the Collector of Souls himself is about to start a war on the
Apr 02, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Something was a little off with this novel. I think it had to do with the manner in which it was written. There were numerous times when the author would suddenly change the subject on what was happening to a character or to characters. One paragraph would be about so-and-so, then it would suddenly change to what was happening with someone else not directly involved with the previous incident. There were a number of time when I would have to re-read something to understand what just happened.

I d
Mar 30, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
During the profusion of low-budget horror films that was the late 70's came a film called "Death Bed: The Bed That Eats." The film's premise and indeed its summary can be found in its title. Some clips of this film exist on YouTube. It is pretty bad.
Empire is the "Death Bed" of zombie novels. Set one hundred years after an apocalyptic zombie outbreak, survivors still live off of old bags of chips and hundred-year old stale food. Death himself shows up as a hapless character, kills some zombies a
Tony Faville
Apr 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having finally gotten around to finishing this book, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will admit, when I first started reading the book I couldn't get into it. I have since gotten to know the author and felt compelled to give it another try. I did, I finished it and I truly enjoyed it.

It gives an interesting twist on the zombie genre, with the darkness from the swamps and so forth. The having to completely destroy them with fire is a different twist, but it worked with the source.

All in
This supposedly takes place about 100 years after the zombie apocalypse but it certainly doesn't feel that way. It doesn't feel like the first few days of an outbreak but it doesn't feel more than months after the start, maybe a few years at most. If you want to see life after people got used to zombies done right, read Mira Grant's Feed.

I just couldn't really get into it. There was too much skipping around and the characters didn't really click for me.
I picked this book up for obvious reasons: zombie stories are good. And as I read the first chapter, I was impressed by the writing and was excited to see where this story was going. Unfortunately, it wasn't going much of anywhere.

The author is definitely good at what he does. Each chapter was detailed and written well. The problem was, the plot was way confusing and too spaced out. Each chapter read like its own short story, which I hated. I have read other reviews saying the author was in fact
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: random
This book may start off slow and it may tell a zombie tell in a way your not used to, but trust me. This tells it in a way that has a BIG impact on the story. First the book starts off by telling bits and pieces of other stories but in the end they all cross over. It is a book that will surprise you. It did me. Now I'm wanting the sequel, Empire's End. Just to see how the story turns out. I won't say this book is a must have but if you enjoy a good story, this book is worth it. I like it and I'm ...more
Apr 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Zombies!
Recommended to Trevor by: Permuted Press website/forums
Shelves: zombies
Plenty of action, horror, and suspense and good writing to boot. From the description, I figured the spectre of "Death" would play more of a role against the undead, but he plays more of a minor role. This ended up working very well. Recommended to fans of the genre!
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far, one of the best zombie books I have come across.
Holly Barnes
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was not the usual Zombie book I was expecting but enjoyed reading it.
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. Angel Of Death, zombies, and a creepy dude with a dog mask = win!
Nelson Mays
May 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very good. I was entertained. Liked everything about it.
Dan Morris
Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite reading a lot of books loaded with action and/or violence, I usually skip most of said action and/or violence due to getting the point quickly.
Nerdvana Webcast
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a fun read. Nothing like Death and Zombies in the same novel!
You can read the full review here:
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A new take on the zombie Genre.
Lynne Akers
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good zombie novel with a bit of supernatural twist with the Reaper
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David McDonald
Given my penchant for post-apocalyptica, it's no real surprise that I gravitated towards Empire by David Dunwoody, a post-apocalyptic tale where the undead have ravaged the earth and pockets of mankind across the continental US fight for survival.

It's fair to say that the premise behind Empire is a little different to the usual zombie affair; zombie sharks, rats, dogs, birds; but the human zombies are the most interesting... "rotters" don't just die with the obligatory headshot as per the usual
Jan 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this three stars because although I did enjoy the book and loved the concept of Death showing up in a zombie infested world... it just wasn't done well enough. The best parts were of course when Death showed up, but it wasn't often. Most of the story switches between survivors I just didn't care all that much about.

My biggest complaint would be the unnecessary serial rapist plotline. It did nothing for the story as a whole. It was like the author wrote a Law and Order: SVU fanfic and jus
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Dunwoody certainly aimed high with Empire, an ambitious debut novel of zombie survival. The year is 2112 (a nod to the classic Rush album perhaps?) and the zombie infestation has ravaged Earth for more than a century. The military is still trying to protect pockets of American survivors, but in the Louisiana swampland a madman is ready to launch a plan that will make him the Emperor of a dead Earth. Meanwhile, Death is walking the Earth on his pale horse, cutting down the "rotters" who are ...more
Andy Phillips
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombies
I'm not really sure what to make of this story. Basically, if you like zombie novels then give it a go, but if you don't then stay clear. There are some interesting ideas going on, but I found the whole thing a little bit confusing and I had seen most of those good ideas somewhere before.

This zombie story is unusual in that it's set around 100 years after a zombie pandemic destroys a significant portion of the world. Most zombie novels are over within a very short time frame after the outbreak o
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Late review:

This was lent to me by a friend, but I struggled to be intrigued by the story. It felt a lot like fan fiction -- like only people who enjoyed that sort of story would actually enjoy it. The author starts the novel with about five plot lines and 78 characters. I knew the plots would intersect, but that didn't happen til late in the story and the too many stories and waaaaay too many characters didn't keep my attention. I understand why the author had so many characters ((view spoiler)
Apr 03, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Not my kind of thing, and frankly, the blurb on the back doesn't match the book. See, (spoiler, stop reading now!)

Death gives up being death to whack the zombies, after whacking zombies earlier in the book, I guess they "don't count". So Death actually isn't around in the last half of the book, just the nameless-dude-formerly-named-Death. And any involvement by "Death" is in the last twenty or so pages where for some unknown reason (even the character is too stupid to know) he gets involve
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Born in Texas and currently wandering somewhere in Utah, David Dunwoody writes subversive horror fiction including the EMPIRE series, HELL WALKS, THE 3 EGOS, and the collections DARK ENTITIES and UNBOUND & OTHER TALES. His fiction has been published by outfits such as Gallery, Shroud, Dark Regions, Belfire, Evil Jester, Permuted and Chaosium.
More about David Dunwoody...

Other Books in the Series

Empire (2 books)
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