The short blurb bit: In a not-too-distant future Toronto, the world is crawling with zombies and policed by Riders. The Riders are a rough-edged, no-holds-barred group of zombie assassins. At the beginning of the novel, Dana Layton is just finding her footing as a newbie. After a nasty break-up and a tuning in by her colleagues, Dana meets Kelly. Kelly was a nurse whose life was derailed by the zombies. The second time she and Dana meet, there are sparks. But, the world they live in is full of dark people and monsters and it’s difficult to love in that kind of place.
The descriptive bit: If you’re looking for edgy, post-apocalyptic romance/erotica, then the first half of this books is definitely something you’ll want to read. Thompson doesn’t pull any punches. The opening of this novel is fiercely violent and paints a picture of people who have adapted to live in a hostile world.
My thoughts bit: Thompson’s skills definitely lie in the area of writing action! The first third of Dead Heat is a crazy leap into Zombie killing, biker-like retribution and the disgusting mounds of flesh that are now wandering around Toronto.
The descriptions of the putrefying Zombie flesh, the sights, sounds and smells that Thomspon writes about, really help to create a visual image of the Rotters and the violence and death they leave in their wake.
One of the issues I had with the characters in the book, was that they seemed to be very stereotypical. The Riders were all either hyper-masculine beasts or very butch unfeeling women. I think that Thompson was trying to illustrate how a world filled with violence and depravity can harden people and shape them into a being that is only about self-preservation. I would have enjoyed seeing the characters a little more well-rounded. That could be personal preference though!
I loved reading a Canadian version of the Zombie apocalypse! I was quite thrilled to see Barrie, Ontario mentioned, as that’s where my partner’s family is from! I will always support Canadian authors.
And kudos to Thompson for continuing her commitment to describe the bleakly violent and shocking world right to the twist at the ending … no, I’m not going to tell you! But, I love that the story doesn’t resolve in a nice, tight, little, happy package at the end.
The warnings bit: Necrophilia (sex with zombies), forced drug use, abuse against women, extreme violence, kidnapping, torture, hints of homophobic thoughts directed at a character, not HEA in some ways
I received an ARC of this book by Ren Thompson from Mocha Memoirs Press in exchange for an unbiased review.