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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Start To A Zombie Survival Trilogy
I came across Plague of The Dead, the first part of The Morningstar Strain by Z.A. Recht when browsing Amazon one evening searching for zombie literature in particular. It sounded my kind of novel, from the reviews of it from other readers and it seemed quite a modern take on the zombie apocalypse, from realistic origins. This is told from the viewpoint of military...
Published 21 months ago by Scotjock1

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An American Cheesefest
`Team America World Police Two: Zombie Retribution', would be a more apt title for this book. It is so unbelievably cheesy, it's almost pure Stilton. This is certainly not my usual read, but I thought I would try it as I enjoy watching films in the `zombie' genre. Try as I might though, I just could not get into this book.

I hovered between giving this book two...
Published on 9 Aug 2010 by J. Cooper


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An American Cheesefest, 9 Aug 2010
By 
J. Cooper (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain (Paperback)
`Team America World Police Two: Zombie Retribution', would be a more apt title for this book. It is so unbelievably cheesy, it's almost pure Stilton. This is certainly not my usual read, but I thought I would try it as I enjoy watching films in the `zombie' genre. Try as I might though, I just could not get into this book.

I hovered between giving this book two or three stars for quite a while, but eventually opted for a two star rating. Whilst the basic concept of the book is believable, the characters and their inane comments, expressions and general outlook on life is enough to drive the average non-American reader quite insane.

Will I be buying the next book in the series? No I won't.

Would I recommend this book to others? If you can put up with enormous slab of American cheese - then go ahead!

On a serious note, if there are genuinely decent `zombie' books out there, I would appreciate a nod in the right direction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Start To A Zombie Survival Trilogy, 2 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain (Paperback)
I came across Plague of The Dead, the first part of The Morningstar Strain by Z.A. Recht when browsing Amazon one evening searching for zombie literature in particular. It sounded my kind of novel, from the reviews of it from other readers and it seemed quite a modern take on the zombie apocalypse, from realistic origins. This is told from the viewpoint of military personnel sent to deal with the epidemic abroad, and the scientists trying to understand the Morningstar Strain causing people to die, and rise again soon after as carriers or zombies.

What I liked about Plague of The Dead once it arrived, with the two other installments; (2) Thunder and Ashes, and (3) Survivors was that it wasn't too long in content, at just over 300 pages I was pleased in order to finish it to get to the next installments. What I also liked about Z.A. Recht's writing style was how simplistic it was in general, until explanation and research was required and he excelled there too especially in regards to military research. Plague of The Dead doesn't play out as a novel akin to the likes of Resident Evil, or a big zombie blockbuster but more in the direction of films like 28 Days Later and George Romero's Dawn of The Dead.

Z.A. Recht's characters are desperate, and that's evident in their interactions and how they react to situations arising in front of them, at first they're gun-ho and ready to get into the action and eventually they detest the violence, and simply want to barricade themselves away and survive. As the first installment of the Morningstar Strain, I was happy and pleased with my entry into the world Z.A. Recht created for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars does not disappoint, 14 Sep 2009
To be honest I was not sure what to expect from this book as I have read the resident evil series (have seen\played many zombie films/games) but in no time I became hooked on the storyline. My main concern was that it would be too similar to all the other books out there so it was great when I got into the story and found it to be refreshing and exciting. The story progresses well and you gradually get to discover more about the characters, get to know their personalities, their aims, and of course about the virus itself. The book is up to date not only in the way it is written and when the actual story is set, but also with present day concerns and research of viruses and their ability to spread rapidly and cause chaos worldwide.
To sum up the book in brief it is fun, exciting, griping, nail biting in places and should not disappoint horror/zombie fans.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One heck of a good zombie novel, 19 Feb 2007
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
If the Z in Z.A. Recht doesn't stand for Zombie, it ought to because the man has given the world a great zombie novel in Plague of the Dead (actually, I think the Z stands for Zach, but maybe he can go about getting that changed). Usually, when I start reviewing a zombie novel or movie, I start by pointing out that this horror fan has never been a huge fan of zombies, but I'm not going to do that this time around. Thanks to the one-two punch of David Wellington and now Z.A. Recht, I now consider myself a true fan of the zombie genre. Today's new crop of post-apocalyptic horror writers have created something far more interesting than a braindead, animated corpse wandering the countryside looking for revenge on behalf of some voodoo queen.

Out of the remote regions of Africa it arose, a virus that made Ebola look like a case of the sniffles. The Morningstar Strain, as it was dubbed, doesn't just kill you (and thus itself); it reanimates your sorry ass and sends you out looking for sustenance in the form of human flesh. Yep, you can't blame any black ops government operation for the epidemic that threatens to exterminate human life on this planet this time around. This virus is completely natural - and beyond deadly. Lt. Colonel Anna Demilio of the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) actually goes out of her way to warn the powers that be of the threat early on, but the bureaucracy as well as international opposition doesn't even allow for any travel restrictions to be put in place until it's far too late. By the time U.S. leaders realize the extent of the threat, carriers escaping the troubled regions have transported the virus to various places all over the world. America sends in troops to try and cut Africa off from the Middle East and all regions beyond, while the leaders back home rely on wishful thinking alone to keep America's shores safe of the threat. An official policy of denial actually hamstrings Demilio in whatever futile efforts she might have made in terms of working toward a vaccine - and lands herself and a brave, plucky reporter named Julie Ortiz some quality time in one of the NSA's least hospitable accommodations. The whole world is going to hell, but the government is consumed with punishing those who release the already obvious truth as traitors to their country.

Military attempts to cut the virus off on the African continent come to a head at the Suez Canal, but the forces under the command of Major General Francis Sherman are overtaken in the end by an endless horde of zombies. The veritable army of the undead comes in two flavors. While the shamblers are slowed down by the effects of rigor mortis and various decay, runners (those who succumbed to the virus before death) will freakin' run you down and can only be stopped by a shot to the head (or a skull-bashing whammy, but you really don't won't to be close enough to one of them to have to resort to hand-to-hand combat). Take these guys out in droves, and more of them just keep coming, climbing over the remains of the fallen. After a harrowing coastal evacuation, the ranks of survivor soldiers and refugees easily fit on one naval destroyer. Those numbers fall further thanks to an outbreak of Morningstar on board the ship. With limited men, food, and weapons, and no communication with any other military forces, Sherman and his men have to come up with their own plan once they reach the waters off the American West Coast. They soon get undeniable proof that even the rural sections of the country have not been spared in the least by the doomsday virus. The only seeming hope for humanity lies in the efforts of Sherman and his ragtag army of soldiers and civilians to eventually link up with Dr. Anna Demilio.

Plague of the Dead features just about all the zombie action you could want, taking you from the armed African offensives leading up to the battle at the Suez Canal to a number of dangerous and thrilling scenes of urban warfare inside America's hinterland. The fighting is, more often than not, intense and bloody, which is just the way I like it. Many a good character is lost along the way, some heroically and others quite ignominiously, but those who survive grow into really strong characters you really root for - and that, plus the promise of more bloody good zombie action to come, leaves you primed and ready for the forthcoming books in Z.A. Recht's zombie trilogy.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ho-hum, 12 Aug 2008
I bought this as a lover of the excellent "World War Z" and was sorely disappointed. The prose is badly written and shoddy, leaving the characters lacking depth and empathy. There is a shocking over-reliance on one or two adjectives, leaving the book feeling stale and listless. The story rollicks along well enough. and the action sequences are well dealt with, but character development and dialogue needs much improvement for me to read this author's work again. Conversations are leaden and each character lacks any kind of distinct personality. Their behaviour and conversations may vary wildly, but they all feel like one voice beneath.

Overall, not the worst piece of fiction ever written, but severely lacking in key areas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Zombie Read, 18 April 2010
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I have been a fan of zombie movies for a long time, but have only recently delved into the mass of zombie literature that is available. I took a chance on Plague of the Dead having read both good and bad reviews of the book on Amazon, and enjoyed it so much I bought and enjoyed the sequel!

The story starts off by telling how the virus initially gets out, then of the attempt to stop the spread of the virus (without truely comprehending what's happening) and then moves to 2 different groups of people who are trying to meet up and find a cure or means to stop the virus

Admittedly questions can be raised about what happens in parts of the book, but no more than in any other similar book or movie of it's type, and the main concept of the book is that people either don't understand or have trouble believing that people are "rising from the dead" and that it is not just a virus. The book also tells the story from the small groups points of view, not from a global one

If you don't like movies such as Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later etc, then I'd hightly doubt that you'd like this material, but it's well written and compelling enough to keep me reading through the night!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great zombie novel, 3 Jan 2010
By 
southcoastreviewer (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I've just finished listening to this audio book - downloaded from Audible, where I get all of my audio books from these days.

After listening to the audio, buying this book was a dead cert.

Plague of the Dead was, for me, a brilliant page-turner read. I normally read fantasy or classic literature, so to listen to an apocalyptic book was quite out of the park copmared to my normal fare.

The build-up of tension at the start of the book, in an exchange of emails relating to the spread of the virus, is well-done. The characters are acted out superbly by the narrator of this work, Oliver Wyman, and the way he reads the story surely assists in how it comes to life.

The action is quite relentless, as you would expect from a novel in this genre. It doesn't go over-the-top with gore though, like you would get visually in a film of this nature (Resident Evil anyone?). Dialogues are realistic (the military detail is well researched and feels realistic, for an Average Joe like me with no military knowledge at all) and the descriptive prose helps rather than hinders the story in its detail.

A 5 star recommendation for this, hands down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belive in Zombies, 6 May 2009
Not my ususal genre of book but the biohazard on the front cover caught my attention. The book is a carefully woven story of both personal view and global view of a plague affecting the world. This is the first zombie book that I have read and it has certainly got me hooked. If others of the same genre are as good then I'll keep buying more. This one is so good that I am on my third reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing but not awful, 19 Feb 2013
This review is from: Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain (Paperback)
As a big fan of the Zombie genre, I found this on Amazon while looking for my latest read. The overall good reviews had me hopeful & I devoured the book in 2 days, which speaks well for it in as much as it's good enough to keep you reading. It wasn't terribly written and I liked the general story, following the forces overseas trying to contain the virus & returning home unsure if they had succeeded. The problem was I just didn't care about the characters, possibly because there are quite alot of people followed in the story so it being hard to focus on anyone in particular. I fully expected to read all 3 of this series in quick succession, but I don't know if I'm even going to buy the 2nd one at the moment despite the story barely having started by the end of this book. Far from the worst thing I've read, but completely lacking at the same time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Traditional military incompetence, 7 Jan 2012
By 
Mr. Mj Flatt "Martyn" (Provinces) - See all my reviews
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The good part - A virus coming out of the Congo in much the same frame as Ebola or HIV adds a nice touch to the traditional "virus is everywhere" trope. The existence of carriers and Typhoid Mary types allow for the spread of a disease lacking in many other zombie novels.

The bad points - A somewhat American sense of scale. Blockading Africa, seriously? Let alone managing such a feet with the military forces given, it comes across as the author not quite knowing how big Africa is, the diversity of the land and how close it is to other lands.

A 3* General whose command staff is a Navy liaison officer and a senior NCO and who abandons his command post to drive around looking at minor problems himself. He then decides to use his artillery as line of sight weapons and doesn't believe tanks would be much use crushing zombies. In fact the General seems more interested in the young and pretty aid worker shoehorned in as female character than leading troops or doing his job.

All in all the attempt at a grand scale lets the book down, the smaller action scenes make the story enjoyable rather than the big picture approach the author was aiming for.
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Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain
Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain by Z. A. Recht (Paperback - 13 May 2010)
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