by Glenn Bullion
Publisher: Permuted Press (Jan 2013)
Genre: Horror, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombie, Young Adult, New Adult
Format: Paperback (240 pages)
Source: Free book from blog tour for honest review
Purchase: Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 stars)
It didn’t take long for the world to die. And it didn’t take long, either, for the dead to rise.
Born on the day everything ended, a world filled with the walking dead is the only one that Aaron knows. Kept in seclusion, his family teaches him the basics. How to read and write. How to survive.
Then Aaron makes a shocking discovery. The undead, who desire nothing but flesh, ignore him. It’s as if he’s invisible to them.
The survivors of the old suburb of Lexington call a high school their home. They live day to day, without any of the luxuries mankind used to enjoy. Samantha is a product of the new world. Alone, cold, looking out only for herself. She and the other residents of Lexington feel their hope dwindling. They need change. They need someone who can face the corpses. They need someone who can live in a city of the dead.
They need Aaron.
At A Glance
The story was amazing, but the writing dragged this book down a bit.
This is the kind of story that will stay with you. So much happens in so few pages but none of it feels rushed. Bullion knows how to create characters that we can root for no matter their faults. I was sad for it to end because I felt like I got to know Sam and Aaron personally and I didn’t want to let them go.
Samantha does a lot of growing in Dead Living. She has had a hard life and is use to fending for herself. She doesn’t let anyone get close to her, or vice versa. She doesn’t help anyone without a price. And she is straight up rude, making sure no one wants to befriend her. But at one of her worst moments, she meets Aaron. She assumes he’s like every other male in her effed up world. But she soon realizes Aaron is different. Aaron brings out the best in Sam with his easy personality and constant smile. I loved watching Sam transform from this cold person to someone with heart. She starts to see the world differently and how helping others can be a good thing. No matter how hard Sam pushed Aaron away in the beginning, he stuck with her. And she returned the favor ten fold. The things Sam did to keep Aaron safe were amazing and almost frightening.
Aaron grew up like no other person. He has been mostly kept away from the zombie life even though he only knows a world involving zombies. He knows love from family and friendship. When tragidy strikes, he finds out he is different. The undead don’t see him as food. They don’t even acknowledge him. Now his life is all about the undead. He lives among them because they are simple, they are predictable. Then Sam slams into Aaron’s life. Sam is a spitfire and he finds himself liking her for her tenacity and will to live. He sees Sam and he wants to make her life better, he wants to make her smile. Sam also pushes him to try new things and meet new people. Aaron is her salvation, and she ends up being his too. Aaron is a freakin’ sweetheart. He is the kind of person who has an infectious smile. You naturally want to follow his lead because he is capable, he is safe. Aaron was just pure awesomeness. He is one of my favorite characters right now. He is both kind and strong, and you can’t help but love everything about him.
Though the zombies weren’t that scary, the evil humans sure were. Sometimes I forgot I was reading a horror book because I would get caught up with the love story, then I got slammed with the realization that humans can be pure evil. There was a lot of horrific things that happened that made my skin crawl. It’s hard to believe people can do these kinds of things to other people, but we know it’s possible, which makes it so much more stomach-turning. Though I hated feeling this way, it was a great indicator that Bullion could make me feel so much hate and disgust with only his words. I applaud him for that.
The action was awesome, the romance was magical and deep, and the pacing was perfect. Dead Living kept my interest the whole time.
Despite my love for the story, the writing was not so good. There is a bad case of telling instead of showing. The POV shifts are just atrocious. Then the peeks of omniscient POV are jarring to say the least. I could go on and on about the writing but I think you get the point. No need to beat the dead horse.
I don’t know if this is a bad thing but I thought I should mention that this zombie book isn’t very scary when it comes to the zombies. I was more often scared of the bad humans, but the zombie aspect seemed to fall into the background a little after the beginning of the book. Dead Living is more of a romance, which I liked, but others expecting zombie galore might not.
The romance is very much young adult when it comes to steam, but the build up of Aaron and Sam’s relationship was perfect the way it was. This book doesn’t need sex because this couple’s connection goes so much further. Aaron and Sam make this book. They are truly amazing, complex characters that obviously belong together.
Expect sexual assault and rape. We don’t see the rape but we hear it.
Though the writing was somewhat off-putting, the story made up for it. As I writer myself, I can’t give this book more than 3 stars because of the writing style, but I can show you all how much I enjoyed the story with all my praise for the characters and plot. Recommend for those who love zombies and romance.
“I just killed two people,” she said.
“Uh, good for you?”
“They couldn’t keep their d*cks where they belonged.”
“I will try to keep my d*ck in my pants.”
“Good. I have no problem killing you.”
“Okay. You’re welcome, by the way.”
“I didn’t thank you for anything.”
“I know. It’s called sarcasm. Kinda like a joke.”
“I know what the hell sarcasm is. I’m not in the mood.”
“I can see that”
Denise kept a hand clamped over her mouth while tears streamed down her face. She heard the father and son screaming in agony, then they were quiet. She heard the sounds of the mob feasting. Disgusting, horrifying noises. She saw shadows on the back wall that hinted at the Hell that was happening. The office itself was locked, the glass window didn’t lock at all. They weren’t safe.
They’re just twenty feet away. We’re next.
I live in Maryland with my wonderful wife and four cats. I love gaming, computer technology, movies, and of course, reading and writing. I love science fiction and especially horror and the paranormal. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, zombies, anything supernatural, all beautiful subjects.
I’ve been writing since I was twelve years old. There’s just something about creating a story that I like. I always try come up with something that hasn’t been done, or is unique in some way. It could be someone with demonic powers, or something much more simple, such as a person that zombies ignore. It’s fun to create a character, give him or her a personality and background, and watch them evolve through a story.
I’ve tried other subjects, but always drift back to horror and paranormal. There’s a reason why we keep going back to horror movies and books, why they’ve made fifty Friday the 13th movies. People like to be scared, but more than that, I think paranormal and horror stir the imagination like nothing else. We’re all just a little nervous to open that closet door at midnight, or look under the bed.
This sounds like a “read it for the story” type book. Interesting, my favorite parts of zombie novels these days are seeing how the humans deal with the stress of living with creatures who want to eat them and can. Sounds like this book gives you tons of that! I am going to have to check it out. Thanks! 🙂
If you can get pass the writing, I think you would like this one. The whole human survival part is awesome.
Glad the characters were loveable even if the writing isn’t so good
So lovable. This is very much a character story.
I’m so glad you got a new favorite character out of it! I really love it when that happens. Their romance sounds pretty wonderful at least. Sorry to hear about the writing issues. I know POV problems can really make a read less enjoyable than it would be otherwise, but I’m glad that you still liked it 😀 Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.
This is actually one of the worst cases of POV shifts. But, alas, I still love this book.
Great review, doll! I really want to read this one I love zombie books and the whole immunity is really unique. It also seems like a very character oriented book which is what I look for in this genre! 🙂
Yes, very character oriented. I feel refreshed after reading this book.
OMG I love everything about zombies and Dead Living is just the book for me! I love plots driven by characters! I have now added it to my TBR shelf!
Then this book is literally perfect for you.
This sounds interesting and it always surprises me how dark humans can become when faced with survival. Awesome review Jennifer!
I know, so scary. I still have the chills thinking about it.
Melissa (My World...in words and pages)
Interesting. 🙂 Thank you. I’m not much of a zombie person, but does sound like a great story.
Yeah, zombies aren’t for everyone.