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Stay Dead by [Wands, Steve]
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Stay Dead Kindle Edition

3.1 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Length: 196 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Wands lives in New Jersey with his wife and son. He’s a freelance artist by day and writer by night. He drinks too much coffee, and sleeps very little. He is the author of the Stay Dead series of short stories, collections, and novels as well as Horror Stories: A Macabre Collection, Words Like Daggers, Modern Nightmares, and plenty of short stories. He also co-edited and contributed to Dark: A Horror Anthology. You can visit his blog here: http://www.stevewands.blogspot.com or play with his twitter: http://twitter.com/swands

Product Details

  • File Size: 620 KB
  • Print Length: 196 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Apparatus Revolution, LLC (April 4, 2011)
  • Publication Date: April 4, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004VB514O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,444 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was disappointed in this book. So, I gave it three stars for average. The main problem is the character development. The author kills them off so fast you never really get to know them and have very little sympathy for them when they get killed. That goes for the bad guys as well. The baddest of which is apparently a serial killer or rapist but his character, while it could have really added to the story as a subplot (running from zombies and/with a psychopath) is not developed and the killings come totally out of left field.

The story also jumps around a bit too suddenly. For instance we are taken from the zombie attacks to a secret lab in the hills of West Virginia and suddenly introduced to a new character. But how did she get there? Who is she, does she have a family, why was she selected to work in the lab?

Then there is the gore. I know zombie books are supposed to have gore, that's one of the reasons I read them. But when it is repeated over and over again it gets boring. Zombies walking, trailing their intestines really only needs to be done once.

I also took some star power away for believability. I know, expecting believability in zombie book is asking a lot. But to have corpses rise from the grave, without explanation, no matter how long or how deep they were buried really is a stretch. I mean does everyone who ever lived suddenly come back as a zombie? Then the discovery that the zombies are actually speaking, just pronouncing the words backwards. Maybe some of the "gore" was from Tipper? I was relieved to find that I had not been duped into reading some evangelical nonsense.

Finally, there is the editing. Please someone help this author (and too many others) with the differences between, their, there, they're, no, know, to and too.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read some of the other reviews before I bought this book and I'm glad I bought it. I liked the story line and the fact that characters seem to be killed off rather quickly fits perfectly. Listen, when the numbers of the dead are in the millions any attempted movement between locations will result in a loss of people in the group and there is no telling who it will be, its a dangerous world. So, I liked and hated characters and there are lots of loose ends that could be used in follow up stories and if the author is reading this I say "get to work" I'm waiting to see what happens next. I recommend this book to all zombie fans.
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This would most definitely benefit from a good editor and a proof reader. Perhaps a few lessons in character development wouldn't go amiss, either. Sure, there's a lot of names in this, but no actual characterization happens. It's just one faceless little blob after another with different names. The story itself is slow and plodding, with the 'characters' moving around from place to place, where there's more zombies, rinse, repeat. That gets old real fast. Several times I had to read a sentence more than once to get just what the author was trying to say in an awkwardly-phrased kind of way. I won't be reading the others in the series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Man, I wanted to like this book. I love zombie fiction; I love the concept of survival horror; I love ensemble pieces. There was a LOT in this book that I really should have liked. It just didn't seem to work.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we? With character development.
One of the first couples we're really introduced to is a pair of funeral home directors. We are given a glimpse of their life together, of their personalities, of their beliefs and the way they are with each other, and in the face of fear -- in short, we're given developed and realized characters... and then, before we know it, they're relegated to supporting cast status. For the rest of the book. The characters who ARE at the forefront of the narrative? Not quite so much with the development.

Plotwise, Wands seems to be headed in a particular direction, veers off into another, more interesting direction, and then abandons that more interesting direction and heads back down the original road, pretty much entirely in the space of a single chapter.

For example, less than halfway into the book, Wands introduces a character, who, it turns out, is a serial killer. He kills some people. Is caught. Kills somebody. Becomes zombie meat. In all, this is actually a really interesting storyline. More interesting, in fact, than the book's ACTUAL storyline. It would have been nice if Wands had taken this idea and used it to develop a book, rather than turn it into a mediocre vignette in an otherwise mediocre rehash of old themes.

And, yeah, it is kind of a rehash. Ragtag group of survivors, they travel for safety, meet more people, argue a little bit, keep traveling, think they're safe, aren't.
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As a big fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, I am astounded by how much is being written in the genre. However, a great deal of the efforts out there are amateurish, unoriginal, and incredibly repetitive. That is certainly the case in the zombie sub-genre. Self- and e-publishing has the benefit of opening up access for writers but has the very real downside of poor quality. One of the reasons why the traditional publishing industry existed was to coax an author through the creative process and to ensure a professional result. Now I read books that cannot even be termed "manuscripts". Plot, pacing, characters, clarity and consistency can be missing as can even basic grammar and spell check.

That is certainly the case with Stay Dead. There are the requisite zombie scenes; chases, bites, betrayals, and exploding heads. Yet, the plot is quite muddled and characters pop in and out like whack-a-moles so it is disjointed and confusing. And like so many recent zombie novels, we cannot help but pull for the undead as the human characters are incredibly unappealing and garner no respect or empathy. We need Cormac McCarthy to write a zombie novel and lift the genre up as he did with The Road in broader post-apocalyptic literature.
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