The Estuary
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2013
Alas, I cannot accurately describe this book's, for my own words completely fail me. Instead, I will write my review as a tribute to Derek Gunn's writing in this masterpiece zombie fiction.

His prose is as purple as crushed berries in a summer picnic's dessert, smeared across the faces of his readers. Adverbs waft in dreamily, twirling around the action like a frightened poet, shakily reciting an unknown verse. "Holy mackeral!" I gasped, my eyes full of hypoxic astonishment at the author's bravery in shaking his fist at convention and forging on into the published world sans an editor of primary school caliber. The soothing flow of run on sentences remind me of the tranquil moments of youth, playing in the sand at the river and watching leaf after leaf swirl into the voids of the current which I dare not go or else I would be pulled under the swiftly moving waters to meet an unknown fate, leaving my parents heavy with pregnant grief.

Have you ever smelled something astonishingly putrid, but enticing at the same time? You are repulsed by the smell, but you are somehow drawn to its curious bouquet? When every instinct tells you to run as far away as you can and call for animal control, but you just can't stop yourself from picking up whatever died underneath the house? That is my experience reading this book. Consequently, and for all purposes, it is also the mode in which most characters from The Estuary live their daily lives. The appearance of a zombie is so alien to their way of life, they have no defense against the hordes that hunger to rip out their naked throats. Whether this is a consequence of much time spent traveling from one scene to another, only to travel back again, we might never know, given what has transpired.

"By Odin's beard!" I thundered, briefly becoming some some sort of deity, as I threw lightning bolts about. "I cannot understand the criticisms of this book! Surely, it is a diamond in the rough, shining with potential if one were to just look beyond the surface of spelling and grammar and formatting and continuity and plot and see with their own eyes the immeasurable beauty that must lie within the ebony chunk of blackest coal!"

Derek Gunn is surely a master of his craft, for so very few authors have filled me with such desire to turn page after page, begging to see more, not being able to wait to see to what climate the village has unexpectedly turned; Indeed, the thrill of never knowing if a character will be sweating under the stiflingly hot sun, or chilling in the shiveringly cold breezes drove me onward.

"You will have four stars from me," I beamed, momentarily blinding a passing motorist. "For I have not had this much fun digesting a novel in many years.

I leave my review with a question for Mr. Gunn, should he chance to come upon my humble review. One question that has burned in my mind since the birth of the tale and has yet been unanswered. Dear Mr. Gunn, What magnificent superpowers do strapping Irish men have, in order to right a submarine with only the strength of their souls and the alcohol that flows through their veins?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 17, 2010
Great story about survival and how humanity can help each other when necessary. On the plus side, the story was fast moving and didnt stray from the storyline. Zombies caused by Nazi experiment cause chaos in a small town. Humans try to escape, the army stops them and they have to survive. Interesting in and of itself. On the down side when the story ends you are left with, ok, that was kind of silly. Anyway, worth the read. The end isnt so bad that it detracts from the rest of the tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I'm a big fan of Derek Gunn's Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder and was looking forward to reading about a different kind of horror from him. So, when they announced The Estuary I was certainly interested. Permuted Press has released a lot of good zombie fiction over the last few years so having them publish a full length novel by Gunn seemed like the perfect fit.

One the best things about Derek's books is the nearly non-stop action. He manages to blend horror and action really well, mixing up fast paced battle scenes with gripping fear for the characters involved. You never know who is going to make it to the end of the book (or if any of them will) and no one is safe. Often in horror fiction there are a few special protagonists that have a bit of plot immunity and a few "extras" you just know are not going to make it. Gunn likes to keep us guessing and is not afraid of pulling the trigger on a favorite character if it will amp up the dread just a little more.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The Estuary takes place in a small Irish town, where we are introduced to quite a few different characters going through their normal lives, including a journalist who has moved away from the city to rekindle his relationship with both his wife and his writing, a ex-British secret agent with a haunted past, a doctor, a police officer, and a delivery driver. There are plenty of other characters we get introduced to as one of the sons of the journalist, playing out on the dried out estuary, stumbles over a jagged pieces of metal sticking out of the sand. Not much later a group of men are digging up a World War 2 German mini-sub that has been buried for over sixty years and contains a poisonous gas the Nazi's intended on deploying against the allies.
Essentially what ensues is zombie mayhem as the military gets called in to cordon off the town and the people inside of it are struggling to come to grips with the fact that many of their neighbors are turning into the flesh eating undead.
Derek Gunn moves this tale along quickly, letting us get a clear picture of how the gas released from the canisters on board the sub quickly turns the men who unearthed it and then turns the almost the rest of the population of the small town into flesh eaters. As the action gets rolling we start shifting through multiple perspectives and see the town quickly devolve into chaos as people discover they are sealed off from the rest of the world by a merciless military and have to somehow find a way to survive the onslaught of their undead neighbors.
The action is fast and the atmosphere is intriguing. I definitely enjoyed the story and the multitude of characters we are given the chance to get to know and wonder whether or not they will survive until the end. The author did a excellent job of providing a scientifically based explanation of how the infection has turned those it touches into the undead which lends a touch of realism to the tale I liked. Derek Gunn also adds an element to his monsters I found interesting: they make no sounds, which makes them incredibly eerie to say the least. In addition to this, as time goes on these creatures seem to become more fluid and flexible-shifting from the classic slow rotter to a swifter moving form. The panic we get to see amongst the townsfolk as they crowd together and are surrounded by the living dead really resonates. More so than most other books of this type, we get to see how people crammed together under dire circumstances tend to act without an ounce of rationality as fear and madness grips them.
If I am to find criticism with this work, perhaps it lies in the fact that there are so many different characters and so many different perspectives we are subjected to. The author switches from one person to the next rather rapidly especially when the story kicks into high gear as the zombie assault commences. Don't get me wrong, this is not a strong complaint because the author does a great job of fleshing out most of his characters and giving us a reason to pay attention to them, but I guess I just prefer a smaller circle of main characters being focused on more in a story like this-I would like to have gotten to know a few of them a bit better than I did, to form a stronger attachment. Still, he kept things tight and we get to understand how everything fits together quite well.

Overall, this is a highly entertaining tale that keeps things moving at a fast clip and gets us to the conclusion in a breathless fashion that I found to be fun and exciting. This author definitely created a fun zombie story that kept me intrigued on virtually every page.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2009
I'm a zombie book fanatic and I must say Derek Gunn did a great job writing Estuary. I enjoy a zombie story that starts from the beginning of how the zombie virus started, infection and then tells the story as it spreads. I like his take on zombies silent but deadly. If you are looking for a fast paced zombie novel to sink your teeth in give Estuary a try.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2009
The Estuary By D.Gunn is what i would call a modern Zombie clasic. His Charecters are well thought out and a plesure to worrie about. His writting is easy to stay with and full of endless excitment. I feel bad that i am the first on here to review the Book. I will never be able to put into words the Love i had of this story. The Estuary has everything you would want in a Zombie Horror.....But is so much better than most on the market.
A true Thriller! Mr. Gunn grabs you from the start and never lets go. I promis this story will stay with you long after you have turned the last page. Our friends from across the pond have brought new life into the Zombie world! With the terror of a 28 weeks latter and the mind grip of a Romerro clasic, D. Gunn has made his mark. Permuted Press has found anouther great author and handed him to us on a silver Plate. Get this Book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2009
It is always a pleasure to find a book that grabs your attention and keeps you turning the pages. The kind of book where you just have to read one more chapter before going to bed even though it is 1:30 am. This is that book. It is totally enjoyable and a fun romp. I highly recommend this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2013
This is a very well conceived and good story. However, it's in desperate need of a good proof-reader/editor given all the mistakes I came across which made the flow of the story stumble. I'm not talking about spelling since I realize that the author is writing in proper English rather than American English. And I'm not even referring to grammatical errors either. Just simple mistakes any writer can make when you're banging out a good piece of work and lose your train of thought. Ex: words or partial sentences repeated in succession, etc. These are minor things but if you're an unforgiving reader they are the very things which may cause you to give a bad rating to an otherwise great story so this is your fair warning. For me, the story seemed slow in some spots but I found myself rooting for the survivors (for once) and truly saddened by the loss of any who gave their lives for the others to continue surviving. This is the only zombie story that has ever made me root for the humans! There isn't much blood, gore or horror (the way many American zombie novels and movies portray) but even for someone like me who enjoys the hardcore horror of a zombie invasion, I truly enjoyed this story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2009
This one is a must.
Characters were well thought out.
Full of zombies, gore and suspense, I was on the edge of my seat as I was ripping through the pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2009
a good book especially since it takes place in ireland, but it is a little slow at beginning but good overall
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