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The outlook was bleak. Before hunkering down to read Dead Tropics, I imagined it to be predictable and clichéd, with terrorized girly-girls running from the undead through a steamy jungle. Alas, I was judging a book by its cover, and I was oh so wrong.
Dead Tropics, the first zombie novel by Sue Edge, starts with breaking news: an unknown virus, at first thought to be encephalitis, is causing sudden fatalities among strong, healthy miners working in a remote Australian rainforest. What’s worse is that within minutes of dying, they are coming back to life, and you can pretty much envision the ensuing carnage.
The story is told from the point of view of Lori, a compassionate yet street-wise nurse who’s in the unfortunate position of having to treat the first patients of the virus. Within minutes of their arrival, Lori can guess that it won’t end well for the hospital, let alone the city, and heads off to rescue her family members before all goes to pot. Add some people with varying degrees of usefulness, and one hot love interest, and you’ve got a riveting story on your hands. Dead Tropics zips along at breakneck speed when it needs to, and slows down to recover when it can. Plus, there’s a romantic interest who serves as a small ray of sunshine for Lori (and the reader) during this cataclysmic storm.
Personally, I enjoy zombie stories for the survivor camaraderie, and the moral dilemmas that accompany killing the people who were once your nearest and dearest. The living dead aren’t just rabid animals snarling at your door, waiting to be picked off with a rifle. They are your neighbours, friends, family, co-workers, and Lori deals with these emotional struggles every step of the way.
My feeling is that this book is a rare gem – a fight for survival against zombie decimation told from the perspective of a “five-feet nothing” single mother. She is neither Super Woman nor a shrinking violet; she’s just doing what she can to save the people she loves. And she kicks ass while doing it.
If you haven’t read Dead Tropics, you should. It is not to be missed!
The Zombie Guy or Zombie Steven has been working in the film industry for 18 years and likes zombies. He only has a few talents, but luckily for him and his readers, one of them is convincing people to help him work on this website.
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