I really liked both this book and it's follow-up, Dead Tide Rising. I have always appreciated multi-scenario books but (sorry there has to be a "but") there were so many simultaneous scenarios, I had to sometimes page back to a character's last appearance to remember who they were and what their particular situation was. If I could have made a recommendation to the author, it would have been the author take the scenarios from half the total characters and made one book then make the second book with the other half of the characters with occasional glimpses of the characters from the first book so that the reader got the feeling of brief reaquaintence of the first book's characters. Similarly, the second book's characters could make an occasional brief appearance in the first book. Just a suggestion to cut down on the number of scenarios being juggled at one time. Otherwise, as the book is, I would recommend the reader make a "flow chart" of the characters as they appear and update their positions and associations as the book progresses. So, excellent books (both volumes) if the reader is able to mentally multi-task or is a dedicated reader like myself who can really appreciate the effort in having a storyline that consistently flows through multi-scenarios.
I read the second book recently and hated it so much I made a review, and since I dont want people to think I wrote it to discredit the author, I decided to make a review for the 1st book, and the reasons I liked it.
I feel somewhat torn between saying the format of the book (the jumping from one character to another) is good to saying it gets a bit annoying, because theres so many characters, sometimes it gets confusing, and it doesnt really let most of the key players grow, also theres one chapter that starts off as Talaskees friend, and ends with Talaskees thoughts, maybe the author did it on purpose, but to me it was kinda weird, anyway, its a good book, I love the self sacrifice that a lot of the characters exhibit, I love most of the characters (except janecia I really hate how she got away with murder) and genuinely felt sad when some of them died, I also liked how the main bad guy got his from a seemingly geeky "innocent" character (though in book 2 its hinted he has something to hide, it was a letdown that the author didnt further develop this character a bit more before killing him) and how most of the "bad" guys got their comeuppance almost automatically.
Overall I recommend this book to anyone who wants a good zombie story, there is one thing I would ask in the future of the author, and of many other authors, and thats that they make their books longer, most of the zombie books Ive read that I bought on Amazon or eghay are all around 300 pgs. and that is a big letdown itself.
Dead Tide is a tale of a few protagonists. Its format is a little bit different than what I'm used to, and took a little time to adjust between the short chapters. But it was well worth the price! Stephen paints a vivid picture of his characters and their environment. This is one of the most professionally written zombie novels that I have ever read. This author has a new fan, one that is eagerly waiting for the sequel.
I broke a promise I made never to chance another book from this publisher...I am glad to have broken that promise. Seeing Travis Adkins listed as the editor removed some hesitation right away. That being said, Dead Tide is a huge novel, encompassing all the key elements of a great story.
There are plenty of well defined characters, each offering up a different point of view on the zombie outbreak, as it goes down in Florida. I was put off by a few of these people at first, until I realized it was just the result of really good writing. I have finally been able to get pulled into a story and react to it like a participant instead of an observer.
Good writing is about confidence, with the author trying to say, "trust me, I know where we're going." I found it easy to buy into to what Stephen North wrote, his writing style is crisp and to the point and the "present tense" style he uses in this book helps to grip the reader with a refreshing simplicity.
I did find the large number of plot-lines to be a bit confusing at first. Going from one character to another, almost with the turn of each page, was hard to follow. On the flip-side, once I got into the heart of the book I was rewarded with some gripping reading; at times I was even hesitant to put it down, for fear of missing what happened next.
For all you zombie "purists", this work feels more like a combination of zombies & disaster survival, but there is plenty of undead content to go around. It serves as a strong base for a second volume...which I am eagerly anticipating.