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State of Decay (REVIVORS) Mass Market Paperback – February 2, 2010


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State of Decay (REVIVORS) + Element Zero (REVIVORS) + The Silent Army (REVIVORS)
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Product Details

  • Series: REVIVORS (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (February 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451463102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451463104
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,407,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Knapp's intense debut is a high-adrenaline thriller that takes the familiar zombie story down a radically new path. In a future America deeply embroiled in global conflicts where undead revivors are used as soldiers, Nico Wachalowski, a military man turned FBI agent, stumbles upon a weapons smuggling operation while breaking up a ring trafficking in revivor sex slaves. The ensuing investigation leads him into a web of murders, terrorism, and conspiracies. Knapp's writing is sharp and his fast and furious plot twists keep the pages turning. He sets his stakes so high, however, that the book's last section often feels rushed and its resolution is somewhat muddled and anticlimactic. Still, fans of zombie fiction and readers looking for a good thrill will find it here. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Author

Would you allow the military to reanimate your corpse, knowing it would commit atrocities, if it meant avoiding service in a brutal war during your lifetime?

What if your level of citizenship depended on your answer? To gain a chance at a better life, or feed your family, which would you choose then? Or would you choose neither, and accept a life of hardship and poverty?

What if you came face to face with your own death, and realized too late you had made the wrong decision?

Nico Wachalowski is a war veteran.  That makes him a first-tier citizen.  Formerly a police detective, he has reintegrated into civilian life as an agent in the FBI.  During his time in the war, he encountered the reanimated soldiers known as 'revivors' many times. When they begin to turn up inside the city, he is tapped for his expertise in a field he'd rather leave behind.

Faye Dasalia is a police detective.  She and Nico worked together long ago, but while he decided to serve, she opted to be wired for reanimation.  That makes her a second-tier citizen.  In the course of investigating a string of murders, she stumbles on a situation that brings her face to face with the revivors she will one day become herself.

Calliope Flax refused to serve.  She also refused to be wired for reanimation.  That makes her a third-tier citizen.  As a result, she ekes a living in a housing project which has been mostly abandoned. Highly taxed, and with few rights, she seems to be on a path of self-destruction until circumstance drops her in the middle of the biggest terrorist plot the country has ever known.

Zoe Ott is a third-tier citizen as well, but unlike Calliope, she was born with a gift.  Zoe can manipulate the thoughts of others.  This ability allows her to live above the poverty line, but just barely.  The gift also comes at a price; she is constantly assaulted with visions from both the past and future, with no way of knowing which is which. In the depths of late-stage alcoholism, she has long since stopped trying to make sense of it all when a particularly persistent vision prompts her to contact Nico just as events begin to unfold.

The four are drawn together by circumstances which at first seem unrelated.  By the time they realize their fates are connected to a fifth, unseen enemy, that enemy has nearly gathered the power to strike a blow that has the potential to change everything, forever.

More About the Author

My name is James Knapp. Back in 1995, I used my table-waiting skills to get a job in the high-tech industry (you could do that back then) where I've been ever since. In my spare time, I joined the legions of hopefuls that one day my work would see print.

To that end, I began the long road of rejection, criticism (some constructive, some not so much), learning and honing that eventually brought me to the point where I can say the work paid off and I managed to acquire a three book deal with Penguin (Roc imprint).

I now live in MA with my wife Kim, who lends a keen eye to my work during the earlier drafts, and our four gluttonous feline murderers whose antics I not-so-secretly enjoy.

Customer Reviews

It's a dark and gritty, complex story, full of intense excitement and suspense.
SciFiChick
In addition, we have a good mystery stories told from the perspectives of four interesting characters.
Renenthera
It is one of the best, most engrossing novels I read recently, and I can't recommend it enough.
Nitzan Rotschild

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Leah on March 29, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In my quest for zombie fiction, I was recommended State of Decay by James Knapp. Let me say this upfront: State of Decay is not a zombie book. It uses the concept of reanimation in a modern, technologically-oriented way to explore unsettling questions about identity: what makes us who we are? Is it the delicate spark of life that sustains our bodies that makes us human? Are we our memories? And what if we have reason to doubt those memories?

Science fiction has rehashed these ideas for decades, most memorably for me in films like Moon, The Matrix, Vanilla Sky, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, as well as in books like Permutation City by Greg Egan, or numerous works by Philip K. Dick such as We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, which was the basis for the film Total Recall.

PREMISE

Knapp's foray into this realm is not as sophisticated as the aforementioned works. He deals with rudimentary concepts of memory-as-self, but uses a clever plot device to expose the fragility of the human mind. This stuff is headier than terms like "zombie" can account for, so Knapp calls his reanimated undead "revivors." Revivors are people who are brought back to (computer-assisted) life after death, to serve as soldiers and domestic peacekeepers. In exchange for this, the revivor enjoys elevated citizenship while he is still a warm-blooded human: access to better jobs, social prestige, higher quality of life.

State of Decay begins when FBI Agent Nico Wachalowski busts up a ring of revivor traffickers who are illicitly reanimating bodies for use as mindless sex slaves, and to other exploitative ends. Only it seems the revivors he's found--along with a cache of weapons--may have some more nefarious purpose.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sci-Fi-Girl on June 29, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a woman who enjoys science fiction and action as much as any man. However, for me to really, really like a sci-fi movie or book, it has to have as good a story as it does special effects. I loved the movie "Aliens". I love to see a "kick-butt" female lead that isn't waiting for some macho male to come save her. I loved James Knapp's sci-fi action thriller book "State of Decay" and so did my "non-sci-fi-loving" mom. In "State of Decay" there are several strong women characters, all very different, that drive the story, and all are tied together via the main character Nico (who is a man, but what the heck). One woman character, named Cal, really kicks-butt. She's my favorite character. Another woman character, named Zoe, is emotionally disturbed and socially incompetent, but she has powerful psychic abilities that is key to the story. The third major woman character is Faye, who is a smart, workaholic police detective who has no time for family or friends (usually a man plays this character role). While there is some violence and gore, it is not that bad, especially not by today's action movie standards. James has a clear to-the-point writing style which I like, and the story's plot is multi-layered and smart. "State of Decay" is the first novel of the series, so the book's ending does not completely wrap everything up, although it is not a cliff hanger ending either. The second book in the series is "The Silent Army" and the third book is "Element Zero". All books are out and available in book stores or online. This is a great summer read for those who want a little sci-fi action in their lives. This book would also make a great movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harry Dresden on January 6, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
To James Knapp: I really enjoyed your story. Very refreshing. I know it's almost impossible to come up with new and creative ideas nowadays but you've managed it extremely well. After finishing a book, it always makes me happy to be left looking forward to the next book in the continuing story. Can't wait to read "The Silent Army".

To Everyone Else: This book is well worth the time and money. The other 5 star reviewers covered all the main points so I won't rehash them here. This is not a zombie book even though it deals with the walking dead. Not sure about the other lower rated reviews. If you're not a science fiction fan, then you probably won't like this book. Happy reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nitzan Rotschild on May 31, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I came into State of Decay with fairly low expectations, due to its cheesy, generic-looking cover, the silly tag line ("Don't pity them, they're already dead") and the lack of any raving quotes from critics or fellow authors.

What I got was something miles beyond anything I've read recently in the sci-fi/urban fantasy genres. I was completely blown away.

This book is brilliant. I would say it's more comparable to Philip K. Dick than anything else, and most certainly does not qualify as "zombie fiction," as the review on Amazon says.

It is full of action and proceeds at a break-neck pace, but at the same time manages to achieve levels of complexity and intelligence rarely seen in a genre novel nowadays. It also features some truly creepy moments.

But the strongest element of the book, for me, was the mystey. The book is almost like a puzzle - the narration rotates between 4 characters, and and information is given in such a way that you'll want to go back and re-read some parts to fully appreciate all the references. With all the mysteries, one can at first get a bit overwhelmed. But fear not - everything ties together beautifully by the end, and once you finish the book, you'll be itching for the next one in the series.

I am surprised and disappointed at how poorly it's being marketed. It needs a new, more distinct cover, as well as a bunch of blurbs. I hope that it won't deter readers from picking up a copy, and that the book receives the attention it deserves. It is one of the best, most engrossing novels I read recently, and I can't recommend it enough.
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