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 was 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 the bunker is compromised, so 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. They travel 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 even love.
As a kid Emma wanted to be an astronaut, or maybe Captain Janeway. Because she didn’t really think her career choices through very well she ended up in an everyday geek job, crunching numbers and sighing over syntax. It seemed a long way from the stars, and in an effort to escape Emma decided to get serious about her other passion. Writing.
Several years later and Emma has yet to walk on the moon or sit in the Captain’s chair, but she is still writing. She scribbles stories in all sorts of genres, contemporary, paranormal, post-apocalyptic, historical, sci-fi…if she hasn’t tried it yet she will before long. The only common theme is the romance. A hopeless romantic, everything Emma writes has a love story in there somewhere.
She lives on the west coast of England with her very Greek husband and teenage kiddos. Apart from all things geek reading is her main hobby and she likes nothing better than getting home from a hard day at work and curling up with a book, though sometimes she gets home and writes one instead.
Zombies are in at the moment, there’s been a horde of undead novels shuffling onto eReaders and book shelves of late – I know I’m guilty of adding to that too! So there really has to be a great story line and some decent characters to really set a zombie book above all the rest – fortunately Emma Shortt really does do that.
Each part is written from the POV of the male and female protagonist, so there’s a clever and clear build up of tension, as most chapters leaves you on a hook – a technique used by Agatha Christie in her who-dun-it novels, as it keeps you reading. That’s how a book becomes something you simply can’t put down.
The zombies in this one were also evolved, and kind of characters in themselves. It reminded me of the game ‘Left for Dead’ which had characters for some of their zombies – the witch’s wails use to scare the living bejeezes out of me.
The romance between Jackson and Luke is sweet and builds slowly too, unlike other paranormal romance novels that simply add in a lusty desire and suddenly they’re together.
From a writer’s perspective, the action was great and the plot moved steadily along. My only criticism was that I didn’t warm to Jackson very quickly. She kicks ass, which is great and necessary considering her predicament, but it takes a while for her to really shine for me and I would have preferred that to come across quicker. Luke comes across much better for me and to be honest this is one of the few books that I’ve read that I’d recommend to both women and men as it really would be a thrilling read for everyone.
The front cover does look a bit like a video game, which could be intentional or not. I must admit that it was more the story than the cover that attracted me to this one. If it hadn’t been part of a tour, I might have passed it by.
Overall I’d give Waking the Dead 4 out of 5 stars – if you love the Walking Dead and want a book that can match it, look no further.