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The King of Clayfield by Shane Gregory
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The King of Clayfield

by Shane Gregory

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Okay. I've given this 4.5 stars out of 5 because, for a zombie novel, it's actually very well written. The characters behave normally and respond believably and, while there are the typical post-apocalyptic "bad guys" who use the ZA to feed their personal egos (and I'm not convinced such asshats would be this numerous post-apocalypse)... for the most part the characters seem realistic.

There was one scene where an otherwise strong and capable woman throws a hissy-fit because her "man" of 5 whole days might or might not be looking at the only other female survivor "in that way" - this stereotypical behaviour felt extremely out of place in this novel. Dunno why he felt the need to make her come across as so petty, but... the novel in general is still way less misogynistic than nearly every other zombie book I've read.

The other little issue is how most of the book was written as if the characters had never heard of the nature of zombies before - for example, there are many many scenes where they are "baffled" as to where the "people" they shot went, or how they didn't "die" from a gunshot wound or two. The main character plays video games, and was aware of the existence of zombie movies, so why this hesitance to acknowledge that the people they "killed" got back up because, I dunno, they were zombies?

If it looks like a duck...

So, why did I give this 4.5 stars? Well, because the characters are well-written, the ZA is a little different from the typical one, the main character is not some super hero, there is no gun porn or herding/raping of women...and those people who do "bad things", like try to herd women for reproduction, are actually shown to be "bad guys", not the norm in a ZA world. And, probably most importantly, I didn't want to put the book down until I finished it... ( )
  crazybatcow | Dec 14, 2015 |
The King of Clayfield begins after an outbreak of the Canton B virus. Told from the perspective of a museum director (I spent over an hour going back through the books trying to track down the main protagonists name and finally searched the web and discovered Gregory never named him, sneaky little bugger!), The King of Clayfield chronicals the survival of a small group faced with numerous obstacles. Once again, I'm not disappointed by the number of idiots and deviants an apocalypse gives rise to.

Gregory's writing has unexpected and inventive twists and turns the likes zombie fans have not yet seen. It's got to be hard to (successfully) set yourself apart in such a niche genre. Fans have clear opinions and expectations of what items they need to see in zombie fiction. So my hats off to Shane Gregory for creating some new gems to surprise readers. While I'd love to talk about them here, I'd hate to deprive future readers of their own discovery.

Click here to read my entire review.
( )
  shanafesta | Oct 21, 2013 |
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On a cold February day in the small town of Clayfield, Kentucky, an unsuspecting and unprepared museum director finds himself in the middle of hell on Earth. A pandemic is spreading around the globe, and it’s turning most of the residents of Clayfield into murderous zombies. Having no safe haven to which he can flee, the director decides to stick it out near his hometown and wait for the government to send help. 

But the disease and those infected are not his only concerns. He must also contend with armed gangs, strife within his group, his own lack of skills… and his conscience. 

There are tough decisions to be made if he is to survive. But if he is smart--and a little lucky--he can do more than survive; he can live like a king.
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