Review: 'Dust of the Dead' by John Palisano

dustofdeadDust of the Dead by John Palisano
Samhain Publishing (June 2015)
216 pages; $14 paperback; ebook $5.49
Reviewed by Jonathan Reitan

Oh God, another zombie book? Wait, before you jump to conclusions, sit a spell and give Dust of the Dead by first-time novelist John Palisano a chance, for what he offers is a fresh look at the zombie mythos.

The zombie apocalypse came, and then life returned to normal. Late night TV talk shows were back on the air, iPhones were re-charged, people returned to work, and life resumed, but not entirely as it once was. Zombies still existed but were contained and were few and far between.

As part of the Reclamation Crew, it’s Michael Lane’s job to visit homes and burial grounds to clean up the remaining “Zoms,” zapping them from undead to just plain dead. Not an easy job, and it comes with many risks. It’s on the job where the crew discovers that the dry gray dust falling off the Zoms has the potential to “infect” the living.

What was once a controlled situation quickly escalates into the second apocalypse as the crew is the first to experience flu-like symptoms, leaving Michael to himself. As the streets of LA shut down, electricity goes off and businesses close their doors, Michael is left to his own devices to survive and battle his way to Sacramento, where he’s promised a “cure” resides.

Dust of the Dead has its flaws. A bit scattered with its opening scenes, rushed back-history and an un-fleshed out love story, but with that said, it’s one of the finest Hollywood horror novels you’ll read and a truly impressive freshman effort. Grab this one, before the dust grabs hold!

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