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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 19, 2010
Don't be put off if you've not read McKinney's Dead City, because you won't need to.

When the Gulf Coast is devastated by hurricanes, the mix of elements and chemicals in Houston results in a viral outbreak of zombies. What follows is a tale of survival, attempts to start a new life, and the dangers resulting from the effort to survive.

In "Dead City," McKinney told a story of one man's efforts to survive the rise of the dead.

Vastly broader in scale this book draws characters from across the country in this more epic tale.

Quarantine efforts have failed. Zombies are spreading incredibly quickly across the world. Scientists are trying to solve the riddle of how to combat the viral source.

This book is, for the most part, a story of everyday individuals who have to figure out how to make it through the apocalypse.

It's a fast read, and a worthy telling of a tale. I finished it in 3 days, and enjoyed every minute.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Apocalypse of the Dead is killer. This is an epic tale of human survival in the zombies-are-everywhere-and-I-need-a-freaking-gun tradition. Faced with countless undead, the book's four major storylines follow the survivors of a zombie plague. As the stories interweave, they create a terrifying tapestry of mayhem, weaponry, and gore. When a bite or a scratch can make a friend instantly turn into a drooling, clawing, and hungry zombie, it's a dangerous world indeed.

The story begins two years after the events in McKinney's Dead City. Houston has been walled off with its borders enforced by the Gulf Region Quarantine Authority. Trapped within are countless Infected, along with a handful of non-infected humans struggling to stay alive in a world that has written them off as collateral damage. What they want most is to escape. And escape, they do... accidently taking the undead filovirus with them.

Uncontrolled and unstoppable, the virus spreads around the world and society collapses. The survivors are left to fend for themselves. Needless to say, most are unprepared for such an event. A blind woman, an escaped convict, Florida retirees, a preacher and his flock, a police sharpshooter, a motorcycle gang, and two guys with hookers and an RV, all find themselves living moment-to-moment, fighting for their lives. To make matters worse, not all of the survivors are nice people, and some will do anything to prevail. Anything.

As the stories converge, the survivors are faced with the question of whether it's possible to re-form society in a zombified world. The survivors are embattled and the undead aren't going away anytime soon. To make matters worse, to survive in this new world, one might have to accept the fact that the strong rule, and the weak serve.

McKinney has created his best work to date and it's a must-read. Reminiscent of The Stand, (not a comparison to be taken lightly), this book starts with a bang and never slows down. The characters come alive (even if only for a little while) and among the twists and turns there are more than a few surprises. Apocalypse of the Dead goes beyond the traditional bash-them-in-the-head-with-a-baseball-bat storyline and offers a few philosophical head-scratchers as well. Not to say that there's not a sufficient supply of rotting flesh, oozing brains, bullets, and leaking body fluids. Yum.

Read this book, if you can. If not, watch out for the headshot that puts you out of your misery.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2011
Joe McKinney's got a knack for tight writing and pacing, and his earlier work Dead City is a strong example of good zombie fiction.

Apocalypse of the Dead starts off in the same vein, and indeed in the same universe as Dead City, and it had all of the makings of a five-star novel...and then the author had to go and plagiarize the 1978 Jonestown massacre in Guyana.

The entire North Dakota "Jasper" subplot is nothing but a retelling, in many cases near word-for-word, of the Jim Jones real-life story from 30 years ago. From the look of the character, to the bizarre sexual "enrollments," to the cyanide suicides and government paranoia...the story's been better told many times, in nonfiction, and it's a sign of laziness that the whole storyline is included here, essentially verbatim.

Add that to a plot line that includes equal laziness in geography research - Emporia, Kansas is hundreds of miles east of the "straight shot north on Highway 83" that the main characters were supposedly taking to reach North Dakota - and you have a healthy dose of mush that damages an otherwise interesting effort with a good setup for a sequel.

It's too bad, especially when the author has proven with previous work that he knows how to write a book the right way.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2011
Well done, Mr. McKinney. Again.

Though this is a sequel to McKinney's Dead City, you won't be lost at all if you haven't yet read Dead City. A sequel that works as a stand alone book. Huh. I think this may be the very first time I have seen it done RIGHT.

Dead City was nicely done, and Apocalypse of the Dead picks up several years later. The original outbreak had been contained by building a border wall, thus containing the threat of the virus spreading to any other area than the original outbreak.

The zombies were contained behind the wall...but so were human survivors that were not allowed out, and they were unceremoniously kicked to the curb and left to fend for themselves by Our Government. All it took was a boatload of escaped behind-the-wall refugees, one of them infected and, well, you know....

I liked the continuation of the Dead City world with new characters, new storylines, new situations.

Jim Jones/Jamestown-esque moments with that most whack preacherman, but believeable.

One mentionable unbelieveable moment, if I may: How in the world can you strangle a zombie with a bra? Strangulation cuts off the air supply to the brain, shutting down the body. Zombies don't breathe and have no breath to stop. Tsk, tsk on that one, Joe. I still heart you, though, man.

Volume 3 (Flesh Eaters) is supposed to be out in April 2011, I believe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
After reading City of the Dead naturally I had to get this one. What happened to me though was that I bought the mass paperback version before I received my Kindle. Well, now that I have fallen in love with my kindle I couldn't sit there under the covers fumbling through this paperback. I was enjoying it so much that I went and purchased the Kindle edition as well! And well worth it! I wasn't crazy about the religious fanatics, but the rest of the book made up for the parts I wasn't so hot about. I really got attached to the characters, and I just loved Ed and his six shooters!!!
Can't wait for the next one!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
As a huge zombie genre fan who enjoyed 'Quarantined' by this same author, I felt this book was lacking. Perhaps I'm REALLY bugged the cover advertises 'They STILL won't stay Dead' when in fact these aren't 'dead' zombies but 'infection' zombies. I also found the way many group of uninfected moved across the country towards their destination with nothing but minor issues in a time the world is becoming overrun with zombies hard to swallow. Don't get me wrong- it's worth the read, I just don't rank it amoung my favorites. Enjoy, but don't expect too much here, seemed 'flat' somehow to me, fell short of my hopes for this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2011
Joe McKinney's book Dead City received rave reviews and this sequel is also fantastic. I haven't read Dead City yet but I want to, now that I have sampled McKinney`s work. This book stands on its own - even if you haven't read Dead City, if you're a fan of the living dead and the zombie apocalypse you'll love this book. Lots of action, human interest, and zombies galore made this a page-turner I had trouble putting it down.

In Dead City, a series of hurricanes devastated the Gulf Coast, leaving destruction, death, and disease to ravage Texas and surrounding states. Somehow, many of the dead returned to life and any survivors quickly found themselves in a fight for their lives if they were unfortunate to have survived the devastation. Apocalypse of the Dead starts up two years after that outbreak; the apocalypse was stalled, and the zombies were contained in a quarantined area across the coast. When the quarantine was established, both the dead and living were trapped inside the zone with no way out.

A member of the quarantine authority and an embedded reporter are flying routine flights over the area when their chopper goes down inside the zone. A request for extraction was denied, and they are left to fight their way out of the quarantine, along with some survivors that tagged along. Meanwhile, a boat full of survivors manages to escape the zone, but there is an infected on board, and the zombie apocalypse begins. The zone is breached and the zombies quickly spread across the country. A prison chain gang is overrun by the horde but a couple of inmates escape to a gated community and one manages to survive with some of the locals as the community is overwhelmed with zombies. Another group of survivors find themselves banded together, fighting for their survival, looking for somewhere safe to flee to.

All of these groups head away from the coast looking for a future, and along the way they see signs for a safe haven in North Dakota, encouraging survivors to find their way there where all will be welcome. The groups all eventually find their way there and what they find is perceived differently by the various survivors. To some, it is a miracle and a new home, but to others, it is just another prison, run by a self-appointed religious leader reminiscent of Jim Jones and his Kool-Aid poison solution.

For sure something is not right - the leader is engaging with sex with young members of the community, free thought is discouraged, and something catastrophic is being planned. I won't tell you how things turn out, but most of the book builds up suspense of the survivors trying to make it to North Dakota, and the last part of the book deals with the situation when they get there. I found this part of the book fascinating - full of realistic scenarios that one can imagine happening as survivors try to rebuild a world ravaged by the living dead. I highly encourage any zombie fan to read this book - extremely well done.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2010
To me this book was a decent read but it wasn't as enthralling and captivating as Dead City. There were times when the book lost it's flow and left me wanting to skip some pages just to get out of that small rut. The style was a bit disjointed at times. Overall a good but not great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have read a lot of zombie novels since starting TheNovelBlog.com. Some good, some bad and some that have been nothing short of astounding, capturing the human condition and race in an epic scale so vast that it brings goose bumps to the skin.

Joining the rank of greats David Moody and Jonathan Maberry is Joe McKinney's APOCALYPSE OF THE DEAD. Apocalypse reads like Brad Pitt's gonna wish his take on Max Brooks's WORLD WAR Z will play in theaters. If there were ever a Zombie novel ripe for the picking in Hollywood, this is it. It has everything. A great cast of characters. Great locations ranging from Las Vegas to the North Dakota Grasslands and an epic storyline that's enough to make Peter Jackson cry out in envy.

From its opening scene to its shocking end, Joe dragged me without mercy into a world where the dead weren't the only things that you needed to fear in an apocalyptic aftermath.

FEARNet.com calls McKinney: "A rising star on the horror scene," and I couldn't agree more. I don't remember the last time I've read action that's left me on the edge of my seat the way he has here. APOCALYPSE OF THE DEAD sets the pace for zombie survival horror and has raised the bar on what a quality story can, and more importantly, should be.

Welcome to the Apocalypse, people. Welcome to the world of Joe McKinney. You're welcome.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2011
2nd book to Dead City but you dont have to read the first book to beable to read this one both the books can stand alone i enjoyed them both
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