Book Review: Dawn of the Living-Impaired
What’s up book friends?!
Between prepping to move, moving into a new house, trying to unpack, new writing gigs, reading/reviewing, work, and parenting…life is hectic!
Anyways, one of the books I recently finished is the short story collection DAWN OF THE LIVING IMPAIRED by Christine Morgan (from @deaths_head_press). It was for a read-along hosted by @mother.horror, and I had such a blast (reading the book but also reading with friends).
SUMMARY: With her signature style of fusing horror and humor, Christine Morgan brings you the zombie collection you’ve been waiting for. From a televised debate-destined for disaster-between a zombie killing general and an advocate for the “Living-Impaired (which seems all too plausible)”, to an unlikely schoolyard romance that finds common cause experimenting on the dead, and all manner of ghoulish delights in between. Christine delivers all the blood and brains you could ask for in these nine tales risen from the grave!
Man, Christine Morgan did a fantastic job breathing new life into what I considered to be a mostly dead genre about, well, the mostly dead. I’ll be honest, I’ve mostly stayed away from zombie stories just because I feel like the genre had been overdone (at least for me). I enjoyed Train to Busan, Blood Quantum, One Cut of the Dead, and The Living Dead – and that’s about it in the last few years. I think it’s partly also because I feel like it’s hard to bring anything new to the table. That is, until I read this collection!
The nine stories presented here are fantastically varied in their settings, style, and plots. You’ve got viking zombies, WWII zombies, stories from the zombie’s perspective, and so much more. Short story collections are generally hit or miss for me, but this one was pretty much all bulls eyes. Below I’ll give a quick, spoiler-free look at each story.
“Dawn of the Living-Impaired” – six months into the zombie apocalypse and humans are adjusting to new way of life; TV anchor interviews a zombie rights activist and then chaos breaks out on set; a fun premise but completely overshadowed by all the awesome stories that follow it.
“Seven Brains, Ten Minutes” – incredibly disgusting (even for this collection) story about a boy pretending to be a zombie to save a girl.
“The Barrow-Maid” – epic viking revenge story told from the perspective of the wife of a fallen hero; I was completely invested in all of these characters, and Hildirid is the best.
“Cured Meat” – possibly my favorite story; told from the perspective of a zombie as he goes about daily life in his “clain”; fantastic writing style with kennings galore!
“Be Brave” – set during WWII and switches perspective between a young girl named Klara and a embittered rebel named Jakob; great character building, but it felt like it was cut off when the story was just beginning (I need a whole novel about Klara’s coming of age in the zombie apocalypse).
“Family Life” – a hilarious story told from the perspective of zombies a la a sitcom/comedy with an unexpected twist at the end.
“A Tower to the Sky” – interesting take on the Babylon story from the Christian Bible.
“Good Boy” – super sad story about a loyal dog (told from his, Baxter’s, perspective) trying to protect his disabled owner; why is it always sadder when animals are involved??
“Thought He Was a Goner” – a fun/funny look at what young Herbert West might have been like in school, told from the perspective of a crush.
If you’re interested in seeing more from author Christine Morgan then follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CMorganAuthor.