These two complementary pillars of pulp are introduced by a cast of secondary eccentrics spanning them both, including mutilated and good humored veterans of the zombie wars, a demented professor of undead philosophy, an enthusiastic coroner, the world's last "genocide metal" band and above all a disarming and charming pirate with what turns out to be a very well-reasoned dependency on narcotics. In fact the book is rich with the often hilarious characters that seem to convincingly be the natural byproduct of mankind's last stand in the Bay Area. And of course there are lots of zombies.
It's a fun book. At seventeen chapters and 200-odd pages it's short but it feels shorter. There are few wasted words and even those that seem initially gratuitous serve in short order to advance the plot. And that's the real charm of Deceased and Residing in Oakland: the language. Philip James, in what appears to be his debut novel has transported the hard-boiled narrative style of 1940s detective fiction to a very modern zombie novel, bringing with it vivid similes, dark humor and frequent snatches of noir poetry
The amalgamation works. It's organic and natural, with an easy and entertaining narrative style, intriguing and presto-paced story and rich cast of offbeat characters. Deceased and Residing in Oakland advances two genres into what would be a welcome trend for both.
Zombie Guide Magazine