The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Crowded Quarantine

January 17, 2012 at 12:15 am (writing)

Wake Up Dead – An Undead Anthology – edited by Adam Millard

It is always interesting to see a new anthology editor’s approach to a themed collection of tales like this one. Variety is essential so that you have a range of material that will have broad appeal to different readers of the genre. This is one of the reason’s I have to give this one a big thumb- up on content. I may not agree with their order or necessarily love every single story in the book, but I at least enjoyed them all to some extent, and I think Mr. Millard managed to cover all bases, he tried and true zombie apocalypse and angst-ridden fledgeling vampire tales to the tales with a delightfully unexpected twist in plot and clever stories of unusual format, like a magazine interview on the political aspects surrounding an undead apocalypse or the scrawling of a little girl in her journal.

I can point out something worthy in each of the tales: Suzanne Robb’s casually flavourful characterization, Rebecca Snow’s chilling attempt at normalizing a zombie outbreak, Caitlin Gunn’s culturally rich offering that gave her share of the anthology an exotic feel, and R.D.Teun’s air of novelty. As far as content went, it was a wonderful medley of styles, settings and perspectives.

My only complaint with the anthology would have to be the fact that the copy-editing could have been cleaner. If the content was a 5, this aspect of the anthology was at best a 4. I noted a few typos, word transpositions and inappropriate capitalizations that were missed in editing. Considering the editor is fairly new at this, I’m hoping this will improve with experience and it didn’t mar my reading enjoyment but I know it might for the more particular reader – I have seen reviewers give books a one star review based on their dislike of the editing and formatting alone.

That being said, I would highly recommend this book if only for Mr. Millard’s written contribution, which closes out the anthology. I think this is possibly one of the best zombie stories I’ve ever read – very moving, very scary and well-written. Speaking from my own efforts in the past, it can be incredibly difficult to write convincingly from the perspective of a child, especially one of the opposite gender. As the mother of a 10-year-old girl I think I have the credentials to vouch for the seeming veracity of his tale (although I would have to say her hand-writing is much too tidy and perhaps it is a cultural difference, but my daughter would never use words like “whilst” or terms like “with child”.) A fantastic story, and quite the way to close the anthology on a high note.

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