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Dead Sea by Brian Keene

Dead Sea

by Brian Keene

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3831528,125 (3.92)22



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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
As a huge horror fan of both films and novels, you may be surprised to find I'm not a big zombie addict. While most of my fellow horror hounds go that route, there has never been much to appeal to me about when it comes to rotting corpses stumbling around looking for brains. That being said, Keene has made quite a name for himself in the literary world as one of the best writers of the zombie sub-genre out there. Deciding to ignore the ending of his last and take it to a new direction, Dead Sea is a captivating experience not suitable for the faint of heart.

From page one it's clear this is a different type of story, as action orientated as a book can get. In every chapter there is a crisis that explodes, nothing being held back: tension, fear, violence, and blood. If you're a horror fan this sort of thing will likely be up your alley, as it's far from cheesy and is clearly an intelligent work. There were about a dozen times I thought to myself, how the hell could Keene possibly write the character out of that? It's hopeless! Amazingly things turned around every time, not with stupid cop-outs either, but with pure brilliance.

I don't mean to gush on and on, but when a book keeps making me gasp and tell my boyfriend in detail on how wonderful it is, when it keeps me up half the night and makes me late for work the next day, it's a keeper. I especially loved once they reached the boat and the inevitable slowly happened. I genuinely felt for most of the later munched-on characters, as their personalities had ample time to evolve.

The main hero, Lamar, is not your typical lead - he's a black, gay man in the ghetto trying to do right by the world. Much of the story involves him taking care of two kids he finds along the way of the zombie massacre, feeling like a failure in his own heart, yet unable to back away from responsibility once it's found. The little boy Malik, especially, was adorably sweet with his tough-guy spirit. Each character works ideally, which made it all the more tragic if something happened to them.

For the zombies themselves; whoa! Interestingly Keene decided to have the virus "jump species." First humans, and then slowly others like dogs, cats, etc. Genuinely eerie to have a zombie dog after your tail! I won't go into detail about which species were affected and which weren't (as what happens with them later - or doesn't - is something you'll be wondering for chapters if you ever read this book), but it's fascinating how he adds to and changes the legend around.

Novels that deal with the end of the world have one thing that's easy for them, and that is that it's clear for the reader what the huge obstacle is. Survival is for the fittest, or - in some cases - the lucky. It was nice to note that Keene made the reader question whether survivors were really lucky at all when they had to sit and reflect on what they were surrounded by, who they lost, and what they could potentially become. Just reading one paragraph from this review should tell you I highly recommend this fierce story, but be sure to start reading it early so you can get some sleep! ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Great zombie survival novel. Lots of action, lots of gore. Great characters! Really I couldn't ask for much more out of a zombie book except for maybe a happy ending. Ok, I know it's a zombie story, how can there be a happy ending. Still, I'm a sucker for them. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys zombie fiction. ( )
  ShannaRedwind | Mar 31, 2013 |
I have had this book sitting on a shelf for at least a year. I wanted to read it, but for some reason I just kept putting it off. I am so glad I finally picked it up and read it.

Keene creates a world full of zombies that is believable. I was pulled right in and felt like it was really happening. The main character, Lamar, is so real. Usually authors make characters too brave and they just don’t seem realistic. Lamar was human and he acted like it, which made him seem even more strong and brave. I loved his flaws.

I also loved the plot and the writing. However, it did have some parts that kind of dragged for me. I was forcing myself through these pages. It paid off though, because in the end, I thought Dead Sea was an amazing book and it left me wanting more. ( )
  TheBookHoarder | Mar 9, 2013 |
Lamar Reed is one of few survivors of "Hamelin's Revenge," a zombifying plague referencing the old Pied Piper story because it started with, quite absurdly, zombie rats. Lamar is a perfectly logical choice for a survivor of a zombie apocalypse, being a gay black man I suspect he used to withstanding the onslaught of hordes of mindless automatons.

When his neighborhood catches fire and he is forced to flee, he finds himself at a harbor where he catches a band of survivors casting off in an old ship-turned-museum. Dead Sea follows this lonely collection of people as they deal with isolation and the prospect of dwindling supplies and a world of zombie-infested coast lines.

It's a fairly well-done novel, in my opinion. It has the fast pace and excitement you would expect from this type of book written by this type of author but Keen also offers bit more depth than I was expecting, even if it is rather awkwardly implemented. He uses his main character to offer social commentary about various prejudices and stereotypes, but he does this by having the main character discuss them with a child, a ridiculously uninspired way of going about it, though it's no less appreciated. There is also some naval history and an application of Joseph Campbell's monomyth theory, which are both interesting if not also awkwardly applied.

I liked the book though, though I may be bias towards zombie apocalypses (and books written by people who wear Anthrax hoodies in their author photos.) It's fairly well-written and there are some interesting twists that set the book apart from others. Definitely recommend, if you don't cringe at this sort of thing. ( )
3 vote Ape | Oct 12, 2012 |
Over the last few months, I have become quite a fan of Brian Keene's work. I have read about a half dozen of his books and while I enjoyed 'Dead Sea' and thought it to be a good book, I didn't love it like I did Keene's others. If you're a zombie fan, you must read it, but make sure to check out some of Keene's other books too - you won't be disappointed! ( )
  awholtzapple | Jun 20, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brian Keeneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Clark, Alan M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Die Ernte ist vergangen, der Sommer ist dahin, und uns ist keine Hilfe gekommen." - Jeremiah Kap. 8, Vers 20
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Für die "Peace Dogs From Hell": Lee D. Miller, Dan Blumenthal, Greg Ward, Andy MacFarland, Lou Buige, George Vogel, J. P. Woods, Brian J. O'Brien und Jay Sharpes. "Keine Norfallos ... F.T.N.!"
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I didn't shoot the bitch until she started eating Alan's face.
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Book description
Trouble begins when a virus infecting the rat population of New York City begins spreading among animals and humans alike—one bite, one drop of blood or one string of saliva is all it takes to kill its victims, within minutes, and instantly revive them as mindless, flesh-eating zombies. Narrating this grim tale is gay 30-something Lamar Reed, who makes a hair-raising trip through the carnage of zombified Baltimore before he and a small group of survivors manage to commandeer a Coast Guard ship and get it out to sea. Together, the eclectic group search the coast for a safe harbor; meanwhile, an endless parade of zombies search the survivors' floating haven for a way in.
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The streets of the city are no longer safe. They are filled with zombies - the living dead, rotting predators driven only by a need to kill and eat. For Lamar Reed and a handful of others, their safe haven is an old ship out at sea. But it will soon become a deathtrap, and they'll learn that isolation can also mean no escape.… (more)

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