Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Review: Waking Up Dead by Emma Shortt.

You know your life has hit rock bottom when you’re living off cooked rats and showering once every few months—if you’re lucky. But for Jackson Hart things are about to get a whole lot worse. When her best friend, Tye, disappears hunting for food, kick-ass Jackson’s ‘head south to safety’ plan looks like it’s dead before it’s even begun. But then she meets ex-mechanic Luke Granger, who takes her to his bunker, feeds her with non-rat based food, and offers her protection against the zombie hordes—not that she needs it. She knows how to use a machete and isn’t afraid to.

Jackson might have been tempted to stay in the city with her rescuer. Food, shampoo and the possibility of finally getting laid, what more could she ask for? But the flesh eaters are getting smarter and when the bunker is compromised, Jackson and Luke have no choice but to make the journey south.

Luke and Jackson team up to find other humans in a road-trip romance for the ages. Travelling for thousands of miles with zombies shadowing their every move they must utilize every resource at their disposal…and then some. On the way, they discover that even if flesh eating zombies are knocking down their door, there’s always time for sex and maybe even for love. (from Goodreads)

Part road trip, part zombie bloodbath, part love story – Waking Up dead by Emma Shortt ticks all the boxes. This is a cracking good read – and not at all what I was expecting.

In the first few chapters we meet Luke, hiding out from the zombies in an underground bunker, and Jackson, savage and fearless, fighting zombies in the streets just to stay alive. But this isn’t just another tale of the zombie apocalypse – this is a book that is so much more.

For starters there are the zombies. These are no shuffling hoard of the undead – oh no – these zombies are far scarier than that – and not just because of the pus and the stench – these zombies are fast – and they’re getting clever. These zombies are evolving and as a result you never quite know what they are going to do next.

And then there are Jackson and Luke. The romance in this story is pitched just right, and their growing relationship drawn with sensitivity. But it is the characters in this story that I feel are its main strength – these people are traumatised and damaged – well who wouldn’t be – they’ve managed to survive a zombie apocalypse! But I do feel that this kind of character development tends to be overlooked in this genre and the author is to be applauded for handling it so well. It is this that makes the characters so well rounded, it makes them real and gives you real empathy with them.

Not to mention the unexpected twists and turns the story takes, but I’m not going to give away any spoilers here.

So all in all a very satisfying read, and if you like your characters savvy and your zombies gruesome then this is the book for you!


  1. I've just added this to my TBR list. Thank you for the awesome review.

    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :-)


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