Series: The Morningstar Strain #1
on May 11th 2010
Genres: Horror, Military, Suspense
Format: eBook, Paperback, Audio Book
Reading Challenges: 2016 Horror Reading Challenge, COYER Summer Vacation
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
The end begins with a viral outbreak unlike anything mankind has ever encountered before. The infected are subject to delirium, fever, a dramatic increase in violent behavior, and a one-hundred percent mortality rate. Death. But it doesn't end there. The victims return from death to walk the earth.
When a massive military operation fails to contain the plague of the living dead it escalates into a global pandemic. In one fell swoop, the necessities of life become much more basic. Gone are petty everyday concerns. Gone are the amenities of civilized life. Yet a single law of nature remains: Live, or die. Kill, or be killed. On one side of the world, a battle-hardened General surveys the remnants of his command: a young medic, a veteran photographer, a brash Private, and dozens of refugees, all are his responsibility-all thousands of miles from home. Back in the United States, an Army Colonel discovers the darker side of Morningstar virus and begins to collaborate with a well-known journalist to leak the information to the public...
The Morningstar Saga has begun.
I first read Z. A. Recht’s Plague of the Dead years ago (~5 years ago?), and was hooked. However, back then I was trying to get books mostly through the library as I was subbing, and didn’t consistently have extra cash to spend on books. For some reason I was determined to download the ebook instead of going to the actual library for a physical copy, and so when I finished the novel I never got around to reading the two sequels.
Plague of the Dead starts with a viral outbreak of the Morningstar Strain, a virus that reanimates the dead. The story is told through the eyes of survivors, mainly military, who try to find a cure. The novel switches from narrative, to email, and even text to convey the horrifying story. As the story gets underway we meet a General looking out for his men, a young woman he views as a daughter, a war photographer, and an Army Colonel who tirelessly works to find a way to stop the virus before it spreads. In my initial review I stated:
“Taking a break from vampires, and murderous teens I decided to pick up Plague of the Dead. The novel written by Z. A. Recht is about a viral outbreak that turns the infected into zombies.
There are two types of zombies. One are the Shamblers. These zombies are reanimated corpses who exhibit slow, shuffling feet, and even slower brain activity. The second type of zombies are called Sprinters. These zombies are living people who became infected with the virus. Unlike the Shamblers these zombies are fast, and seem to have some problem solving skills.
The book has many characters, and the book begins after the outbreak. This made it somewhat difficult for me to get into for at least the first 70 pages or so. Between getting confused about what exactly was going on, and trying to figure out who was who in the book took me longer than I expected. Once I got into the book, though, I was hooked!”
Unlike the first time, I didn’t find the novel difficult to get into. However it was often hard to read at times as I had to slow down to decipher military acronyms and convert time from a 24 hour clock to a 12 hour clock. Aside from that, I found the novel to be even more engrossing than it was the first time around. The characters seemed more complex, and the death toll is near Game of Thrones proportions. Z. A. Recht doesn’t bat an eye at killing characters, so it’s best not to get too attached. A lesson I’ve learned the hard way.
My main reason for reading this novel again was that I recently purchased the 2nd and 3rd book on sale, and had forgotten the events of the first novel. I’m glad I decided to go back to the beginning as much happened, and I believe I would have been incredibly lost had I just read book 2. If you are a fan of zombie novels, then you’ll definitely get a kick out of this one. The story telling is fast-paced and reads like a blockbuster action flick. Even though there’s lots of bloodshed, there’s also humor, suspense, and a bit of mystery. Though it’s a book with zombies, like The Walking Dead, it’s mainly a book about people and how they handle extreme situations. Definitely one worth checking out.