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

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Revivors Series

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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.

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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: 4.1 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,061,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This book was interesting. It gives a different take on zombies, though in a way they didn't really seem like zombies; in the book, they're called "revivors," which are reanimated bodies with electronic parts that makes them obey commands. People in this dystopian society can volunteer to become revivors after their deaths in exchange for a better life. These are definitely not your "eat your brains" zombies.

I thought the writing was great. there are 4 POVs all told in first-person; there are about 3 POVs per chapter. I liked how the Knapp developed the characters, even though there were four vying for air-time in a novel that's less than 400 pages in paperback. I loved how all the plots converged and began to intertwine about 1/3 of the way through the book. Each POV character is handling their own plot and problems and nothing is rushed with any of the plots.

The problems I had was with the dialogue. It was hard to follow sometimes without proper attribution, so I became confused many times about who was talking.

Knapp did a good job with the climax and continuously raising the stakes for the main POV character, Nico. I think the author is great plotting and State of Decay has some of the best plotting I've read in a book. I liked the intricate plots and storylines and how they all came together.

My least favorite character was Caliope Flax and my favorite character was Zoe Ott. There was a weird bit of almost-romance between Nico and one of the other POV characters that would have made me vomit had it actually happened. I just can't see Nico with any of these characters except the one he actually had a relationship with.

But, despite all of this, I can't say that I'm tempted to read the sequel.
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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
STATE OF DECAY (Revivors #1) is a read I'd picked up solely because I was fortunate enough to win a copy of ELEMENT ZERO (Revivors #3) from the author James Knapp on goodreads. Not yet being familiar with the trilogy, I thought I'd better check the first two books before diving into my prize. To be honest, this is a series that probably would never have hit my radar had it not been for the giveaway. I do enjoy sci-fi, which is why I threw my name into the hat when EZ came up on the giveaway list, but on majority I tend to lean more towards the YA and paranormal reads. But I have to say, Mr. Knapp has a new fan in me.

Although undeniably graphic and dark and set in a thoroughly grungy environment; I really enjoyed this sci-fi urban fantasy world Knapp has created with its layer upon layer of plot twists and turns. I have to say the cyberpunk spin on zombies (known as Revivors) was a new one for me and a completely welcomed one at that.

Now there is a lot going on in STATE OF DECAY and a ton of sub plots to keep track of, but to Knapp's credit, he does an expert job of keeping the reader on track and the story moving forward with lots of heart pounding action. Even with the multitude of characters, each with their own agenda, surprisingly none of them felt like filler or unnecessary; to the contrary each was well thought out with a sub story line that was easy to follow and in the end held an important thread in the overall plot.

Even though I have only just read the first of the Revivors Trilogy, I could easily see this series being turned into a movie or TV series. STATE OF DECAY`s plot is unique and thrilling with lots of techy-bits and characters that are all well developed and interesting. I'm looking forward to working my way through the next two installments.
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