by Margaret Chu

"Don’t worry, Duncan, the dead won’t bite you."

As Kathy Draper is holed up in her prospective new home, doom is separated from her by thin layers of wood. The key to survival may just be the infant she cradles lovingly in her arms. The child’s name is Penny. The day before, the Draper family had set out to Belchertown to check out a house to move into. Kathy had grown up in Belchertown, and the house had a familiar feel that called out to her. While her family explored the house and its attributes, the dead began to rise. Power lines fell across local cemeteries, the electricity reanimating the recently and long-ago deceased. The dead have awakened with a taste for blood stirring in their bodies, every movement predicated on fulfilling that desire. Kathy and her family are in the zombies’ path.

The author has penned an edge-of-your-seat horror story that explores the beginnings of a zombie apocalypse. Chu puts forth a unique origin story for how the dead arise. The gory trail of destruction may be disgustingly familiar, but Chu imbues her ghouls with humanity as the walkers stubbornly retain shreds of their past. Kathy Draper is more than a narrator; she is a tough woman who, despite the havoc thrown her way, will do what’s necessary to survive. The eclectic cast of characters captures attention, even if only before meeting their demise. The zombie genre is predominant in horror fiction, but Chu has written a story that possesses nuance that separates it from The Walking Dead and other zombie-Armageddon fiction, winning over audiences.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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