Writer of Horror Fiction

Review for Iain McKinnon’s “Domain of the Dead”

Domain of the Dead begins with a group of survivors living in a warehouse that was stocked with food when the zombie apocalypse began. There were 27 survivors at one point but they are down to a handful of them and one, Sarah, has decided that it would be best to end it all, because their food is about to run out after being tucked away in this place for as long as they all have. She climbs up to the roof, ready to jump, and sees a helicopter off in the distance and the decision is quickly made to try and make a break for it to the helicopter, rather than starve to death by the few people left in the warehouse.

A few of them survive the quick and violent trip to the helicopter, with the help of the military personnel who had set down and were patrolling the area. Some are left behind, because the helicopter doesn’t have enough room for all of them, and they fade out of the story for the most part, as Sarah and a couple of other warehouse survivors: Nathan and a little girl named Jennifer, fly back to a ship where the military is running experiments on zombies, trying to discover a cure or vaccination against the mysterious ailment that causes the dead to rise. Not long after that,things go a little nuts and a breakout of the zombie virus has the survivors fighting for their lives as the ship becomes a graveyard of the undead.

The book is a fast paced, quick zombie read that clearly intends to have a sequel based on how the story ends. I thought it was unfortunate that the people left behind on the mainland were not returned to the spotlight in this book after the helicopter returns to the ship, and the entire focus was on what was happening on the ship. The author provides some interesting suggestions based on science as to why the dead were rising and a good chunk of the book is spent on that discussion in the second act. Unfortunately, that felt like a slight disruption to the plot, as we start out with a high octane beginning to the book as the survivors from the warehouse are rushing to escape the hordes and get to the helicopter and then there is a lull until the action starts again towards the final third of the book. While that is a bit of a criticism, as well as the lack of connection to those left behind back on the mainland, the story itself is entertaining and does provide some good zombie gore, guts, and action. I think this series of books, whether it is two or more, could be quite interesting, as the fate of those who remained behind will likely be revealed pretty early on in a second book and things certainly will be different for the survivors who had been on the ship. I just wish they had remained a part of the plot of this first book.

Domain of the Dead can be found on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1934861278/ref=cm_cr_thx_view

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