Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Domain of the Dead/Remains of the Dead by Iain McKinnon
It takes them to a research ship miles out at sea. The ship's doctor gives them a thorough examination and explains what has been going on in the world during the past three years. Humanity is surviving but the zombies vastly outnumber the living. They are introduced to the ship's captain and to the chief scientist, Cutler, who don't see eye to eye. Here we have a situation inspired by Romero's film Day of the Dead with the captain and scientist at loggerheads. Heck, the captain even calls the scientist "Dr. Frankenstein" just as Captain Rhodes did with Professor Logan in Day of the Dead.
On that very day when the newcomers arrive, Cutler makes a scientific breakthrough in finding a cure for the zombie disease. However, it proves to be anything but and when he injects himself with it, he soon turns into a zombie. In no time at all the ship is overrun with zombies, leaving just Sarah, Nathan, Jennifer and the two soldiers from the helicopter, Bates and Angel to fend for themselves in a desperate situation.
Just as Ali and the others make contact, Cahz's group is forced to flee when their hideout is threatened by a neighbouring fire. Cahz leads Cannon, Ryan and the baby out of the city towards the coast in the hope of contacting the helicopter as it flies in, or if they miss it, when it flies back out. Things do not go well for either group but to say anymore will be to give away too much of the plot.
I really wanted to like these novels, as they had both garnered many positive reviews on Amazon, which is where I bought them. But sadly, I have to say, I was very disappointed with them. Once again, both books are blighted with numerous spelling mistakes, bad grammar and poor layout with sentences breaking up in the middle of a line before continuing on the next line. Whoever edited and proofread these books did a very poor job of it!
Secondly, I found the characters to be unsympathetic and I couldn't really care whether they lived or died. All of the lead characters in both books suffer.. a lot! Fair enough, in a zombie apocalypse people do suffer, but McKinnon really puts everyone through the wringer, both physically and emotionally. It just got too much for me.
Thirdly, there is a science lesson given by Doctor Robertson, Cutler's assistant, girlfiend and the person who examines Sarah, Nathan and Jennifer in the middle of the book as she tries to explain the zombie outbreak. It is long-winded and totally unnecessary. it just so happens that Sarah was a science student, so she understands most of the gobbledigook that Robertson spouts.
Fourthly, I was amazed at how quickly the infection spread on the research ship in Domain of the Dead. In no time at all a crew of about 100 are wiped out and transformed into zombies. I'm sorry, but I just couldn't buy that at all. Especially not when just under half the crew were military personnel.
Finally, is the ending of both books. I won't say much because I don't want to spoil them for you but be warned, the endings are bleak. Plus, when you read about what happens at the end of Domain of the Dead you know that there is no way that Remains of the Dead can have a happy ending. I must admit that my judgement of Remains was very much influenced by me not enjoying Domain. I suspected it would be more more of the same and it was, although if anything it is even bleaker.
As I said earlier, a lot of readers rate this series very highly, so maybe I'm in the minority for disliking them. I don't know if you've noticed, but I've added a number of page tabs to the top of my blog. One of them is for book reviews. I mark my film reviews with scores out of ten but I never rated my book reviews. Until now. If you click on the Book Reviews tab you'll see my ratings for every book I've reviewed so far. Up till now, all of my book reviews have been very favourable. Not so for this pair, however. I'll give them both a score of 4 out of 10.
They are printed by Permuted Press and cost me £10.95 each from Amazon's website. Not good value for money, I felt!