Saturday, August 14, 2010

Review: Dead or Alive

William Harms, Absolute Tyrant Publishers, 2010

Arizona 1889: two desperate brothers have pulled off a bloody stagecoach robbery, and think their troubled past is behind them. But a horror from the region's tribal past has been unearthed, and - as a terrifying sickness sweeps through the local township - the Smith brothers find themselves fighting for their lives against against a horde of the hungry dead...

Dead or Alive is the debut novel of William Harms, whose previous publishing credits include the acclaimed vampire-themed graphic novel, Impaler. There's quite a bit to like about Dead or Alive: the characters are all well-realised (if generally unlikeable), and the plot trots along at a good pace. Oh, and there's plenty of brutal zombie action for the gorehounds. My only gripe is that Harm's obvious talent for dialogue doesn't extend to the prose (which is pretty turgid in places). If you can get past this, however, then Dead or Alive offers a fun, by-the-numbers, zombie/western romp that should appeal to zombie obsessives. And possibly cowboys.

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