Review: Amongst the Dead by David Bernstein

Review: Amongst the Dead by David Bernstein
Amongst the Dead
by David Bernstein

Genres: Adult, Horror
Publication date: November 6, 2012
by Samhain Publishing

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Young and alone against the living dead.

Riley has lived alone with her dad in an isolated cabin in New York State for as long as she can remember. It’s just safer. Her dad’s told her about the time before the zombies, but she can only imagine it. Instead of playing with friends, Riley became a crack shot with a rifle. And she’ll need that skill now that her dad’s been bitten. She’ll be forced to leave the cabin and fight off zombies all on her own. She’s twelve years old. There’s a lot she’ll have to learn about the world she’s never really been part of. She already knows how to kill zombies. But now she’ll learn just how dangerous the living can be too.

I’m sure you guys are already sick of me saying this over and over and over again, but let me just say this once more for the mere heck of it: I love zombies. Well, I don’t really love them in, you know, that manner, but I absolutely love reading survival stories in a zombie-infested world. There’s nothing better than watching characters try to survive a world full of flesh-eating abominations. I don’t like anarchy, but I love reading about them. The image of no social order just fascinates me. Not that I want it to happen in real life, mind you… but it’s an interesting concept in fiction.

Having read a lot of zombie books half a year ago, I was anxious to read this novel by a new-to-me author. Thankfully, Amongst the Dead by David Bernstein did not disappoint at all, and ultimately made me love the subgenre even more! Usually zombie stories follow hard military soldiers or civilians who, by the streak of luck, can shoot with 100% accuracy, but this time, the story follows Riley, a 12-year old girl, who is forced to live alone in the new world after her father died from a zombie bite. She learns the hard way of the reality that not only the world has changed, but its people, too, as she not only has to fight against the moaning horde, but against the living as well who proved to be as dangerous!

I really liked this book. Riley was a tough 12 year old, forced to mature too quickly due to the unfortunate circumstances. Even though she had to remain strong, you can see in her actions, words and thoughts that she still yearned for a normal life with a normal family. Of course, she doesn’t remain twelve for too long, as the book shows her journey until she reaches the age of fourteen/fifteen. By then, she has seen too much of the world worse than zombies – army men with machine guns, cunning gangs who rape women here and there, as well as an eyeless cult who wishes to use her body for breeding purposes.  All of this with all the goriest details you could ever read in a zombie book… I remember putting down the book several times because I was just too disgusted with the scenes. The interaction she had with the living was just as disturbing as well.

While I did enjoy this, I thought the ending was too abrupt… like it just happened and that’s it. I wish it was developed more, although I’m kind of glad the author didn’t make this a series. Sometimes, there are just stories that can be wrapped up in one book. Do I recommend this? Yes, absolutely, most especially to those who love the zombie subgenre as I! Other zombie novels I recommend: The Enemy series by Charlie Higson, Area 187: Almost Hell by Eric Lowther, and Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry.

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Faye

Faye

A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena

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