Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Devin never thought he could find hope or love among the ruins of a broken world. Not until he found Noah.
Devin Reed is one of the last survivors of a virus that has turned the earth’s population into living corpses…zombies. Devin lives and conducts daily hunts from high security penitentiary in Kansas State that provides his group of survivors with shelter and security. Devin returned from his last tour in Afghanistan to find the world gone mad. He lost everyone he loved to the plague, including his long term partner and love. Broken hearted and enraged by the circumstances he finds himself in, he risks his life daily to leave to hunt for supplies and any other survivors he can find.
One fateful scavenger trip changes everything when Devin and his partner check out what looks to be an abandoned farm house and find Noah Webber, the last of his family and the only person to survive a zombie attack. Each man has lost so much, and their attraction to each other is bound up in each other’s survivor guilt and fear. Together Devin and Noah unite to fight the monsters around them. But it will take more than determination and firepower to win, it might take finding the courage to risk all for love and the hope of a future.
Just when I think I’ve about had my fill of all things zombie, along comes a story to remind me why this genre is so pupular. Dead Things by Meredith Russell manages to combines the heartbreak of loss, suspense, a post apocalyptic world, zombies and, of course, romance and has us sitting on the edge of our seats while doing it.
I especially liked her character, Devin Reed. He is the epitome of a survivor, complete with a lost love, a sense of futility about the present and yet he endures and perseveres. He’s also a warrior, hot, and gay. Devin feels real, he is shut down emotionally, allowing only the pain of loss or anger to penetrate the barriers he has erected again any further vulnerability. There are other characters around that also seem authentic to the direness of the circumstances they find themselves in but Devin comes across as the most believable.
Noah Webber took longer for me to invest in. His attitude seems at odds with his history and background. And although we got a good explanation for his actions and outlook, it ended up irritating not only Devin but the reader as well. Luckily for the story, that faded away under the onslaught of zombies and the events that occur.
Russell adds in high suspense, to go along with the anxiety of survival and the prickling of hope for the future. The author solidly builds her story and keeps us guessing as we head into the climax and story resolution. It’s fun, heartbreaking, white knuckle ride all the way to the end. If you are a lover of zombies and post apocalyptic worlds to go along with your M/M romance, then add this to your TBR list. It delivers what it promises. And that makes it one of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words recommended reads.
Like most fiction of this trope, a small group of survivors has banded together in the most secure place they could find, a high security penitentiary. This place has become their world, complete with a dictator who makes the rules and expects everyone to follow them.
Cover art by Meredith Russell. Love the cover, it works perfectly for the character and gives a dark tone to the overall look.
Sales Links: All Romance (ARe) Amazon Dead Things
book, Second edition
Published August 29th 2014 (first published August 2012)