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Half Past Dead Paperback – 4 Jan 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Brava; Original edition (4 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758246978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758246974
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.3 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,063,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By pat mow on 7 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i wish i could have read a preview of this story and i would have given it a miss The story was about zombies the hero was immune to there bite.love interest bases dr.I FIND IT DIFFICULT to know what to write about about this book.Just not my sort of book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roroblu's Mum TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
I always wonder when you have an established author in an antho, if it's done to fulfil contracts because the publisher has no choice, or if it's to introduce the lesser-known author, or if it's hoped that the established author will carry the others. With this book, it kind of broke the mould, as both authors are established, and I know that Bianca D'Arc is great on her own in full-length novels, but this one disappointed, and the Zoe Archer novel, well, did she even research the year 1858 in which she set it?

Turning to the former, we meet in present day/poss near future, special ops soldier Simon, who has been hunting marines-turned-into-zombies-from-the-bites-of-creatures-they-were-dispatched-to-kill, and who inexplicably was bitten but not turned by one of the creatures. With his immunity, he's now tasked with getting rid of his former buddies, who are now preying on locals, so he's keeping watch over his best friend's sister, Mari, a doctor and his ex-lover. Despite having left her to go on a mission three years ago, whilst in the midst of (an allegedly passionate) affair, with her not knowing what happened to him, he suddenly appears in her naval camp needing stitches. You'd think that Mari would perhaps have to treat him due to the Hyppocratic Oath, but that at least she'd have the backbone to take him to task for her having been unable to move on, for the way in which he abandonned her and left her not even knowing if he lived or died (she found out on the grapevine after some months that he was still alive), but no. She accepts not only his need-to-know stance, the fact that he superheals in the space of a few hours (if so, it begs why he had to go & get treated) and that zombies exist.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A bit too much sex 4 Nov. 2010
By MissGnomer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really liked the story line and thought the Cassie and Sam had great chemistry. But I couldn't get passed the excessive sexual descriptions. I just wanted to warn others out there who aren't into detailed sex-scenes that this book is a bit over the top.

I didn't finish it, but if you don't mind that sort of thing you'll probably really enjoy the book.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Want to Buy: Editing for this erotic zombie story 24 Jan. 2011
By SandyLu562 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Archer disappoints in the prequel to her four books in the Blade of the Rose series; the writing was either repetitive or failed to explain scenes adequately. This historical erotic romance starring a handsome zombie and a high society society assassin failed utterly to arouse my interest in reading the series. The flow was choppy, descriptive words indicated the indiscriminate use of a thesaurus (try to find a word that ENHANCES the sentence, rather than with a "just-off" meaning), and the least important descriptions were repeated at least twice within a few paragraphs.

The interesting premise made the uneven writing really annoying; it's always fun to read about a heroine stepping outside historical societal constraints and the love interest had appeal even if he was recently one of the undead dead, at least he only had one unhealed wound and immediately healed all but the wound which made him a zombie. Sounds like a vampire, right? well the whole premise was just too confusing to easily grasp and I still have no idea of the "rules" of this world. Save your $[..] (Kindle edition) for something else!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Found 1st short story boring, Loved the 2nd 23 July 2012
By T. C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought Half Past Dead in order to read the story 'Simon Says' by Bianca D'Arc. I'd come across the 2nd book in the series (Once Bitten, Twice Dead) and liked it enough to search out the first story in the set.

I tried to read Undying Heart, the first story in the book. Sigh, I just couldn't finish it. Boring. I like the zombie & romance genres but just couldn't get into this one, I hate it when the characters are only involved because they _used_ to like each other. What about now? Couldn't even finish this and I rarely rarely allow myself to skip.

Simon Says is story 1 in a 4 part series. I really like the series and the fact that author D'Arc has come up with a scientific mistake that causes the rise of the zombies. There are lots of characters that you will meet again in the next books. This story is perfectly fine on its own but reading about Simon lets you understand better the other stories.

I recommend Simon Says and the other books in the series: Once Bitten Twice Dead, A Darker Shade of Dead, and Dead Alert
each zombified hero is not really human...but not really dead 7 July 2013
By Virginia Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Half Past Dead" is quite an appropriate title for this paranormal romance anthology from authors Zoe Archer and Bianca D'Arc. In each of the stories the zombified hero is not really human, but not really dead. Both "men" retain enough of their humanity to not only be heroic, but romantic as well. Actually, they are intensely erotic. Who knew? Zoe Archer's story, "The Undying Heart", is the prequel for her "Blades of the Rose" series, and it takes place in the Post-Civil War Era. Samuel Reed served valiantly in the War Between the States, only to be betrayed, murdered, and made one of the living dead by his own villainous commanding officer. After years of struggle, he is able to control his own will and seeks to destroy the man who defiled his existence along with the lives of so many of his fellow soldiers. His search brings him face-to-face with Cassandra Fielding, the sister of his best friend, Charlie, whose battle injuries were too severe for his body to be reborn as undead. Cassie does not turn away from Sam, even though she fully realizes that he is no longer a living, breathing man--he has no heartbeat. She is also on a mission, working for a select, secretive society, and she and Sam are after the same man. As they work together to bring an end to a heinous evil, feelings from their youth bloom and mature into a powerful passion. If they succeed in their quest, will they find a way to let love win its own war? Bianca D'Arc's contemporary story, "Simon Says", features a special ops superman, Simon Blackwell, who was bitten by a zombie and lived to tell the tale. Not only lived, but did not lose his humanity. After being quite ill from the bite, he bounced back stronger than ever with unusual physical abilities and the capability to quickly heal from injuries. His unique resistance to the zombie virus makes him unequaled as a hunter of the undead, and it also brings him back in contact with Dr. Mariana Daniels, the woman he turned away from after he was stricken. The explosive chemistry between them is just as hot, and the love they had never acknowledged is as deep as it is unspoken. When the threat of the undead comes too close to Mariana, Simon goes into overdrive when it comes to protecting his woman. She is only too glad to have Simon back in her life, even if he is now a different man. Together, they must eliminate the zombie warriors that threaten their community. If they survive, will they have a future together? "Half Past Dead" is the first book that I have read which features zombies as heroes. Zombies--intensely erotic--who knew?
Not Your Usual Zombie Romance Anthology 11 Nov. 2011
By fredtownward - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Of course, since I know of the existence of exactly one other zombie romance anthology Hungry for Your Love: An Anthology of Zombie Romance that isn't saying much, but at least Hungry for Your Love contains the large number of zombie romance short stories you'd likely be expecting. In contrast Half Past Dead contains only a pair of novella prequels to a pair of later zombie romance novel series.

The first and by far the most intriguing is Zoe Archer's "The Undying Heart", a prequel by some 16 years to the events described in her The Blades of the Rose historical fantasy romance novel series: Warrior, Scoundrel, Rebel, and Stranger. The Blades of the Rose is a secret organization dedicated to keeping the world's Sources (basically, extremely powerful magic containing artifacts) out of the hands of those who would misuse them, in particular the members of another secret organization called the Heirs of Albion, which claims to intend to use them to bring the whole world under British rule.

I say "claims" because like so many allegedly patriotic or otherwise nobly intentioned secret organizations throughout history: the Chinese Tongs, the Ku Klux Klan, the IRA, the Mafia, the Fascists, the Nazis, the Communists, the PLO, al Qaeda, etc., the evidence suggests that any once existing so-called good or patriotic intentions the Heirs of Albion ever had have long ago degenerated into cruel and abject selfishness.

Secrecy and noble intentions tend not to go together well, which makes me wonder about the Blades of the Rose as well over the long hall. I shall be interested in seeing whether Ms. Archer ever addresses the problem.

In any case our current story has our two heroes in hot pursuit of Colonel Kenneth Broadwell but for differing reasons. Blade of the Rose Cassandra Fielding is tracking a magical Source Broadwell is believed to be horribly misusing; Samuel Reed is seeking vengeance against the man who made him something less than human. They have another connection: Reed was the boyhood friend of Cassandra's older brother (and the unknowing object of Cassandra's girlhood affections). Charlie Fielding and Sam Reed had gone off to the Crimean War together and had been reported dead together,...

correctly, as it turns out.

The best part of this story is interaction between Sam and Cass. Sam does his worst to scare her away from him, from what he has become, but Cass simply will not scare. She's always loved him, she's got him back (after a fashion), and she simply refuses to be bothered about the details. Readers will share Sam's utter bewilderment at but growing acceptance of this as they work together to track down and deal with their mutual prey.

The worst part of this story turned out to be the love scenes. Writing non-cringeworthy love scenes is always a challenge, writing non-cringeworthy Victorian era love scenes is even more so, given the differences in terminology. On the whole I'd say Ms. Archer does a pretty good job with only the occasional clank, but I had a considerable problem with the inappropriate...


There's a time to make sweet, sweet love, and there's a time to run like Hell, and when in hot pursuit of demonic forces (or worse, when demonic forces are in hot pursuit of YOU) strikes me as the latter. Of course love scenes can quite properly ease the inevitable downtime any realistic adventure must have, but there were two separate occasions I found myself almost shouting, "Here? NOW? Are you bleeping INSANE?" Ms. Archer naturally kept her heroes safe from harm when otherwise occupied, but IMHO marginally competent villains should have caught them with their pants down,...


In contrast Bianca D'Arc's "Simon Says" is a much more conventional prequel to the much more conventional paranormal romance novel Dead series, in which the zombies are what are being hunted down by the heroes rather than the objects of their affection: Once Bitten, Twice Dead, A Darker Shade of Dead, and Dead Alert. It also pales considerably in comparison to Ms. Archer's work. Despite a couple of likable protagonists and the modern era setting I found the love scenes far more cringeworthy; it took me three days to finally finish reading the anticlimax climax of the last chapter. I was surprised to find upon counting that it only lasted 10 pages; I could have sworn it was much, much longer.

In any event this is going to be a must read for fans of either series.
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