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The Gathering Dead Paperback – May 31, 2011
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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The Gathering Dead is a full-blown military action/horror novel that hits the ground running from page one... Knight does a terrific job of balancing action and tight plotting against a vast amount of military detail and terminology...a highly engrossing and enjoyable narrative...
--NecroScope, September 12, 2011
The Gathering Dead should be assigned reading for everyone who loves a good zombie tale...
-- Bricks of the Dead, October 4, 2011
About the Author
Stephen Knight is the author of the bestselling zombie apocalypse tale The Gathering Dead and the follow-on novella Left With The Dead, as well as the horror thriller City of the Damned and the action-adventure Hackett's War. Together with Derek Paterson, he wrote the erotic thriller White Tiger. Knight lives in the New York City area.
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This one starts with Major Cole McDaniel. He and his special forces team have Wolf Saphire, a virologist and his daughter Dr. Regina Saphire. They are tasked with getting these two to Central Park for exfil.
Wolf Saphire thinks he has a cure for the walking dead. The walking dead who are trying to stop the uparmored HUmvee. A vehicle the walkers can't get into. A vehicle that runs them down with no damage. Avehicle McDaniel and his team are using to get to Central Park in downtown NY City where they will be ferried to Ft. Detrick, Maryland.
McDaniel's second in command is First Sergeant David Gartrell. A Gartrell McDaniel's served with in Afghanistan. Gartrell dislikes McDaniel and doesn't think he's good enough for this mission. A Gargrell who's mission oriented. The mission comes first. He doesn't care who he sacrifices for the mission. Gartrell and McDaniel's will disagree many times on this mission.
They do make it and get the team and Saphires loaded. Half on one Blackhawk and the other half on the second Blackhawk. Operational Detachment Alpha OMEN is headed by CW3 Keith and his team load into the second Blackhawk.
The choppers take off but the second is boarded by the walking dead and goes down with the crew and OMEN.
McDaniels chopper heads out but a walker falls out of a building onto the rotors and the chopper crash's. McDaniel and his team get the Saphire's into a building. The building has glass front door. Its thick glass and the walkers can't get through it.
The building has one Walker up on the twenty seventh floor. A Walker that is killed. They also find Earl, a maintenance man and his two daughters. Earl will be a big help to McDaniel's and his team.
The building still has power and a kitchen area loaded with food and water. Only problem is the walkers have surrounded the building and there is no way out.
So begins one damned fine read.
This one has McDaniels, Gartrell, the rest of the team, Regina and Wolf Saphire, Earl and his daughters, an osprey that tries to rescue them on the roof of the building during a windy rainstorm, a uparmored van they find in the basement, the walker who get into the building, The members of OMEN who are now the walking dead, men who can still use guns and grenades, a chase through the streets of New York, a Coast Guard cutter in the East River waiting for McDaniel's and his team, a Coast Guard cutter that will get them out of New York city, a Gartrell who will make it possible to get McDaniel's and his charges to that cutter, the deaths of the team with McDaniel's, a dead Wolf Saphire, a flash drive with all of his research, and Major McDaniel's doing his best to get his people out of New York City with the info Wolf Saphire provides and a McDaniel's determined to go back at get First Sgt. Dave Gartrell, a man who saved them all.
One damned fine read. Five Stars.
Starts off a little slow and the non stop military jargon got annoying but thankfully that wasn't as bad after a few chapters. I enjoyed this book and the characters enough to continue with the series. The main reason this book caught my eye was that some of the zombies could retain some "muscle" memory. Scary enough that some remember how to open doors but having military zombies remember their training is terrifying. I probably would have given this 4 stars if the editing had been better.
The Gathering Dead, and its successors in Stephen Knight's Zombie Apocalypse series, kept me up late on many nights, where I'd wake up exhausted, gaunt, with bags under my eyes, probably looking a lot like one of the fresh zeds from Knight's awesome books.
I've read so many zombie books that I'm not ashamed to consider myself something of a connoisseur of the genre. World War Z? Sure. Of course. Day by Day Armageddon? Absolutely (and the sequel). Ex-Heroes? Yup. Area 187? You know it (great book, BTW). And many, many more.
I devour zombie lit like a stench devours entrails! I eat 'em up, and I'm usually willing to cut the books some slack because of how much I like the genre. Like, I'm not bothered by the occasional typo, and I don't expect to be dazzled by poetic wizardry when I read them.
But sometimes, as I was reading The Gathering Dead and its followup books, I'm really, really surprised.
This book actually scared me. Why? Because I found myself empathizing with the characters. Knight takes the time to develop them, but by no means does that mean there isn't a lot of action. There's a ton, but it's not all, "Jake whipped the 9 mil around just in time to put a round through a dead toddler's forehead, its pasty skull no more than a few inches away." There's more to it than that (although some of that, too, to be sure). People flee, prepare, hide, plan, sneak, panic, and they do it so convincingly, so authentically in these books that it becomes easy to put yourself in their shoes. You feel for them, the living, or at least I did, and that's great storytelling. That's the difference between a great story and a merely entertaining one.
Think about Stephen King. If you're anything like me, you love some of his books. But Stephen King is no Hemingway, right? As good as King is, he's no Hemingway, and yet who the hell cares? Stephen King knows how to write a compelling story, compelling characters, and keep you nailed to the edge of your seat. Well, so does Stephen Knight.
If you love zombie books, do yourself a favor. Buy The Gathering Dead, and then just save yourself the time and buy the sequels (and the novella). Trust me. You'll want to have them sitting on your e-reader waiting for you to devour as soon as you finish reading The Gathering Dead.
Long live the dead!
Most recent customer reviews
Maybe something between Regina and Cord?..... just a thought.
And what's withGartrell?