Let me start this review off with something I’m embarrassed to admit. It’s 2019 and I’ve JUST read my first Brian Keene novel. He’d Been on my TBR for some time, I just didn’t know where to start. I received quite a few recommendations of Ghoul, however, I already knew I’d love it so I decided to go for one Mr. Keene himself recommended to me on Twitter. Dead Sea.
Dead Sea follows Lamar Reed as he attempts to survive hell on earth, this particular hell taking place in Baltimore. The apocalypse as seen in Baltimore somehow manages to turn even more horrific early on, and Lamar must escape the city. Fans of gore are in for a treat as Keene does an exceptional job of describing the walking corpses and the aftermath of their brutal attacks. The novel hits the ground running and rarely lets up. Dead Sea is full of action, it moves at a rapid pace and is highly readable. I’d have finished it in one day if life real life hadn’t gotten in the way. For everything, I loved about Dead Sea, and there’s a lot, the protagonist is easily my favorite. Lamar Reed is what sets Dead Sea apart from other zombie affairs. The book is written from a first-person perspective. Lamar Reed isn’t a highly trained badass, steamrolling through zombies on a warpath through Baltimore. He’s a young man from the inner city just trying to survive. Being a gay, black man, Lamar must confront bigotry in addition to the undead. In 2019 when equal representation is talked about now more than ever, Reed stands out to me. What’s more impressive is that this book was written in 2007, not 2019.
When I reached the end of Dead Sea, I was pleasantly surprised. I’m skeptical when I read or watch anything to do with zombies. The genre is flooded at this point. A relentless pace, good action, and an exceptional protagonist keep Dead Sea floating above the competition.
John is a native of Cranston, Rhode Island. He served 4 years in the United States Marine Corps, deploying twice to Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s a lover of all things horror, pizza and cheeseburgers. When he’s not reading or watching boxing he spends his time with his amazing wife and two beautiful sons.
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