The Eulogy (From the Publishers):
Lazarus Stone is about to turn sixteen when, one night, his normal life is ripped to shreds by a skinless figure drenched in blood.
He has a message: The Dead are coming.
Now Lazarus is all that stands in their way. To fulfill his destiny, he must confront not only the dark past of his family, but horrors more gruesome than even Hell could invent. And it all begins with the reek of rotting flesh
The Epitaph (In a Nutshell):
The fast, gripping first book in a series with plenty of chills and bucketloads of gore. Will definitely appeal to fans of Darren Shan's Demonata series.
We are gathered here today to review The Dead, by David Gatward. I have a confession to make: I definitely judge books by their covers, and from the moment I first set eyes on The Dead, I knew it would be right down my alley. I even fought the other booksellers who were present for an advanced reading copy, and I’m very glad I did.
The Dead is a racing read, and from the moment you pick it up you won’t be able to put it down until you turn the final page. But I’m getting ahead of myself here, let’s start at the start, shall we?
As the book opens we’re introduced to Lazarus Stone, just a normal kid who happens to have an absent dad with a few very mysterious pastimes, some of which may or may not revolve around preventing the evil, soulless dead from crossing over into our own world.
I think part of the reason I loved this book so much was Lazarus. He’s such a well-drawn character that I was completely with him the whole time. And that goes for all the characters too, especially Arielle, who is possibly one of my favourite characters of all time.
And the atmosphere! Gatward is definitely a pupil of the school of senses – you can practically taste the blood and gore, and it definitely makes for some very creepy scenes, especially in the ultimate showdown towards the end. A good (by which I mean bad) villain is also a dealbreaker for me, and you'll find plenty of them in The Dead. Gatward has managed to do the nigh-on impossible here by reinventing the zombie novel and spinning it into his own mythology.
If you love visceral horror series, this is definitely one to get in on. The first book, The Dead, is available in Australia from the 28th of October, and The Dark and The Damned should follow in 2011.