Lazarus Stone has been killed, resurrected, and attacked by demons. He’s all that stands between our world and the Dead. But things are getting complicated: he’s alone in the land of the Dead, his best mate Craig is missing, and he’s no idea who – or what – tricked his dad into trying to bring back his long-dead mum. Oh, and he’s wearing a corpse’s clothes.
Lazarus Stone is home alone! His father is away on business and his mother died in a car accident when he was just a baby.He’s lazing around chatting on the phone with his best mate Craig, When a foul smell begins to take over the house making Lazarus feel sick. He tracks the smell to the lounge to discover a skinless figure drenched in blood. Not a corpse but some kind of Demon called Red he has crossed over from the other side with a message for Lazarus’s father…
HELL IS FULL AND THE DEAD ARE COMING!
The Dead is the first in the series with the next two books already with publication dates; The Dark is due October 2010 and The Damned is Due April 2011.
It can be very tricky to set up the premise without running out of steam. Gatward has chosen to deal with this by making this first volume a bit of a mystery tale about what is actually going on. The Dead is relatively short but it is as long as it needs to be, not overwritten for the sake of making up page numbers.
Gatward wastes no time in getting stuck into the horror element. Chapters 1 and 2 crank up a delicious apprehension as it gives us a boy home alone in a creaking old hold and chapter 3 goes all out with an absolute fantastic horror scene featuring a portal into the land of the dead and lots and lots of blood.
Lazarus starts the book as a typical teenager, talking with his mate on the phone, eating junk food being lazy and generally just making a mess. By the end he is shaping up to be a great central character who is independent, courageous, loyal and impulsive.
This is what a young adult horror should be like, There are no wimpy vampires to be found here. It is just good, unclean GORY fun.
There is a great deal to enjoy in this book and the series seems set to provide a lot more.
So will you like it? If you are a big Twilight or Vampire Diaries fan, then probably not. But if you are a fan of classic horror, then I am almost certain you will love this.
My score out for this book is 4.5 out 5.
Later on this week I will be reviewing book 2 in the series so keep an eye out for that!
I feel before reviewing this trade I should admit something in the interests of full disclosure.
Back in the day… I loved Lobo : The Last Czarnian. I mean LOVED it. This was the DC comics mini series by Keith Giffen, Alan Grant and Simon Bisley that for me, made comics rock and roll. At the time I was really only reading Batman stuff and this books black humour and furious artwork made me venture outside of the normal, safe, run of the mill capes and tights stuff. So in summary, it was a special book for me and The Dead : Kingdom of Flies reunites two thirds of it’s creative team having been written by Alan Grant and drawn by Simon Bisley. Oh, and the covers are by Glenn Fabry, who did the Preacher covers… which I have collected in a hardback art book.
Britain has fallen prey to a mysterious plague of flesh-crazed zombies. Corpses litter the streets. Swarms of fat, nauseating flies hover like shrouds. As far as Derek Wall and his team of firefighters know, their Oxford HQ might be the last bastion of unaffected humanity in the entire country. But with every day that passes, Derek’s men get weaker – while the zombies grow in ferocity and numbers. It’s only a matter of time before the zombies break in…or the humans break out!