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Saturday, November 20, 2021

 This is No Joke - See My Review Of. . .

Dead Serious

Dead Serious (Generation Zed Book 1) is the introductory adventure to the 'Undead Apocalypse Horror Series' by Greg Stumbo.

Here’s the blurb to the first story.


When the zombies showed up, the world changed quickly, as you can imagine. You want to know what doesn’t change quickly? People. My friends and I, unfortunately, are people. People who are now considered food.

How exactly does a group of friends survive when they have the combined life experience of a fifteen-year-old on the opening day of a sci-fi convention? Well, not by being the tough guys in an apocalypse movie. I mean, yeah, that's how we all see ourselves – right up until the dead start walking and you realize that you don't even know how a shotgun works.

Now, I don’t know about you, but having had my fill of zombies on TV, I’m looking for something a little bit different. Something a bit quirky to put the spice back into a genre that’s become somewhat bland lately. You may know what mean. Something like the zany, oddball fun of I Zombie, or the surprisingly entertaining fight-N-bitefest that is Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead.

And basically, THAT’s what you get with Dead Serious. It does what it says on the label, and oh-so-cleverly steers away from ‘a bunch of instant survival experts come to grips with an end of the world scenario.’ As the blurb tells us: “How exactly does a group of friends survive when they have the combined life experience of a fifteen-year-old on the opening day of a sci-fi convention?”

Barely - That’s how. And only then by sheer fluke!

What I particularly liked about this story is the dynamic that builds between the main characters. They don’t have a clue what they’re doing, and argue among themselves as much as hiding/running/frenziedly fighting off infected neighbors who don’t have the decency to stay down when they’re shot/stabbed/bludgeoned, etc. (You get the picture) Yeah, these guys make staying alive an uphill struggle. But it’s great fun and it works!

I was reminded somewhat of the haplessly incompetent husband, Joel Hammond, in the Santa Clarita Diet, (Another superb twist on the genre), who stumbles from disaster to disaster by going with the flow and not really knowing what the hell is going on. Because - in a nutshell - this is how the zombie apocalypse would most likely turn out. And Greg Stumbo manages to encapsulate that atmosphere in a cracking little intro to his world gone cray-Z. (Did you see what I did there?) 

Witty dialogue. Disarming self-depreciation. Incompetence galore. Blind luck. All tied together with a cracking pace that engrosses you from beginning to end. I liked it, and look forward to more.

Stay chewned – my sides . . . get it? There are more great storylines and awful puns on the way.

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