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Deck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable. Undead by…
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Deck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable. Undead

by Chris Pauls

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Deck Z: The Titanic
Author: Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon
Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
Published In: San Francisco, CA
Date: 2012
Pgs: 222

REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Summary:
A Manchurian plague. A pre-WW1 German plot to eliminate the Russians from a future war before it starts. A scientist realizing the immorality of what is intended with his research. The mightiest ship of her age. An escape. A Russian born Jew acting as a German secret agent to take revenge for the pogrom that killed his family. Iceberg right ahead.

Genre:
Alternate History
Apocalypse
Disaster
Espionage
Fiction
Pulp
Zombies

Why this book:
Zombies.
__________________________________________________​

Favorite Character:
Theodor Weiss. The moral scientist unwilling to become Oppenheimer in an era before Oppenheimer.

Lou (Louise), she seems tough as nails and a good kid.

Least Favorite Character:
J. Bruce Ismay...was a douche if the stories are true. And he is portrayed in character in this novel with those stories. At every turn, Ismay turns aside from the noble. He is presented here as a horrible character. Not a badly written character, just a coward and a prig.

The Feel:
I wanted to read this because zombies. But the Titantic aspect gives me pause. My misgivings are the same as when I was dragged into the Titanic movie. I hope that the zombies put in an appearance in short order because too much build up can damage a story. Hoping this isn’t one of those, the monster never appears, but is always just off camera stories. Though based on what happened in Manchuria and with the shaman during the cabin escape, I’m guessing that my fear on that account is misplaced.

Favorite Scene:
The near collision between Titanic and New York in Southhampton harbor.

Swashbuckling Captain Smith sliding down the ladder into the hold and decapitating the zombie Man at Arms who was menacing Theodor Weiss.

Pacing:
The pace is good.

Really glad that the story flashed through the cliched “there’s no such thing as zombies” part.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
With as logical as Weiss is about his reasons for escape and his method, his running straight to the Titanic rings false. He should have known that the spies would have trailed him, or rather been waiting for him. A more circuitous and slower route away from Europe would have served him better and kept him off of the Germans radar.

Uhm...in the middle of the escape from the lower decks, our “heroes” leave Lou behind. Uhm.

Hmm Moments:
Oceanic grave robbers biting off more than they can chew...and not realizing it.

The knife cane...very nice.

Dr. O’Loughlin throwing himself overboard thinking that that would save him from what lies beyond Stage 1 of the plague. Poor bastard will wake up on the bottom of the ocean as a zombie with thousands of miles to shamble across the depths in search of the shore...and life.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
Does the world really need another Titanic movie? Cameron has that pretty much locked for the next 50 years or so, I’d guess.

Casting call:
Chloe Grace Moretz as Lou.

Christoph Waltz as Theodor Weiss.
__________________________________________________​

Last Page Sound:
Oh c’mon. Should have left it with the Toxic following the whirlpool of Titanic’s passing. The Vegas anti-climax cheapens Weiss’s sacrifice and Lou’s survival.

Author Assessment:
I liked this well enough to give other stuff by the writers a look.

Editorial Assessment:
Wish someone would have talked them out of the anticlimax...and seen through the forgetting Lou in the lower decks rush to the upper decks.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
glad I read it

Disposition of Book:
InterLibrary Loan
Houston Central Public Library
Houston, TX

Would recommend to:
genre fans
__________________________________________________​ ( )
  texascheeseman | Apr 19, 2016 |
Another example of modern man overcoming superstition. We have entered an age in which men of science and industry can bend the world to their will.
-Mr. Ismay

"Duty comes before my safety or yours. You're givin' into fear," Smith said firmly. "Don't be afraid of the fire, Thomas. Otherwise you'll miss the chance to be forged in it."
-Captain Smith

Dr. Weiss is sent to Manchuria to investigate the outbreak of a new plague. The plague travels to the patient's brain and eats away at it, causing a violent madness. Dr. Weiss is desperate to find a cure for the plague. The Germans want to use the plague as a weapon. After isolating the "Toxic", Dr. Weiss realizes that his goals and the goals of the German Army are not the same. Dr. Weiss is determined to keep this plague from the Germans and tries to escape on the Titanic.

This book convincingly brings together the doomed voyage of the Titanic and zombies. The conceit of scientists and governments trying to control a plague and use it for their own goals is very believable. The authors obviously put some effort into making the Titanic and its voyage as realistic as possible. They used historical facts, background details, and actual people involved. There was Captain Edward Joseph Smith, J. Bruce Ismay (managing director of the White Star Line), Thomas Andrews (architect of the Titanic), and even the band that continued to play as the Titanic sank. I've come across these details before in other books about Titanic and that made the story seem more real, or at least more believable.

As for the zombie part, the plague spreading in a contained environment, fighting zombies in tight, enclosed spaces and the desperate need to contain the plague all had me on the edge of my seat. I was cringing in the right places, creeped out in the right places and cheering in the right places.

Recommended to:
This was is a fantastic book. If you like zombie stories, give it a try. If you like your historical fiction with a big twist, give it a chance. You won't be disappointed. ( )
  Jadedog13 | Feb 3, 2016 |
All Dr. Weiss wants to do is find a cure for the plagues. Unfortunately, the German government has other plans for his research so does their top spy. Therefore, he needs to go in hiding to continue his research. What could go wrong?

An action packed, multi-level narrative leads characters and readers through turmoils and developments.

Characters are flawed, often naively focused, interesting, and caring.

Overall, an intense read. ( )
  catya77 | Jul 31, 2014 |
Zombies and the Titanic? Hells Yeah! Deck Z:The Titanic was an action packed zombie adventure. The authors did a good job of presenting an alternate history that meshed the sinking of the mega ocean liner with a viral outbreak. This is an example of an interesting premise that was well executed. I would highly recommend this book to fans of the zombie genre or alternate history buffs. ( )
  68papyrus | Jun 3, 2013 |
Despite not being a fan of zombie stories or knowing much about the history of the Titanic, I enjoyed Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon’s Deck Z immensely. I had prepared myself for a silly backstory as to why zombies were on that fateful voyage to begin with, but the authors carefully crafted a plausible scenario and sympathetic characters. In true thriller style, the plot was relentless, chugging full steam ahead just like the doomed ship. I appreciated the small details, like structuring the novel into three stages just like the stages of the zombifying disease. Captain Smith was a proper hero, just as I imagined he would have conducted himself in such a bleak scenario, and though liberties might have been taken with certain historical figures and moments, they were done so respectfully. My only complaint is that the length did not allow for much exploration of the characters outside of pitched zombie battles. I’ll stop now to avoid any spoilers and urge you to pick up a copy for a quick, satisfying read. ( )
  cygnoir | Mar 29, 2013 |
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Dedication
To our wives Heather and Katy for encouraging us to go write. And to Sarah Malarkey for trusting us to do this.
First words
Prologue - Titanic debris field. Atlantic ocean. Saturday, February 18th, 2012. 12:12p.m. - "Over there." A man in a stylish red jacked pointed to the right side of the convex window in the MIR deep-sea submersible as it hovered over the ocean floor, two and a half miles below the surface.
Chapter One - The epidemic was largely over by spring thanks to strict quarantine measure, but the outbreak had killed nearly fifty thousand people.
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Book description
In 1912, Theodor Weiss, a German scientist, steals the only vial of a disease that transform its victims into soulless, flesh-hungry monsters from the German military before they could use it as a weapon, and takes passage on the Titanic traveling to America, but during the voyage something goes terribly wrong.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 145210803X, Paperback)

Imagine being trapped aboard the doomed Titanic on an icy Atlantic. . . with the walking dead. This fast-paced thriller reimagines the historical events of the fateful Titanic voyage through the lens of zombie mayhem. Captain Edward Smith and his inner circle desperately try to contain a weaponized zombie virus smuggled on board with the 2,200 passengers sailing to New York. Faced with an exploding population of lumbering, flesh-hungry undead, Smith's team is forced into bloody hand-to-hand combat down the narrow halls of the huge steamer. In its few short days at sea, the majestic Titanic turns into a Victorian bloodbath, steaming at top speed toward a cold, blue iceberg. A creepy, tense page-turner, Deck Z will thrill zombie fans and Titanic buffs alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:03 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"The year is 1912. Theodore Weiss, a German scientist, has discovered a strange new plague that ravages its victims, transforming them into soulless, flesh-hungry monsters"--P. [4] of cover.

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