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November 2009 - Domain of the Dead - Iain McKinnon

A Modern Zombie Classic
(Click Book to purchase from Amazon.com)

I read a lot of zombie novels and I’ll be honest, some I struggle with – Domain of the Dead is not one of these – it’s a well-written zombie epic which I couldn’t put down...
This book has it’s admirers but I like to read for myself before I judge and somehow I missed this from my lexicon of undead reading. So, when a review copy finally arrived, I locked myself in a room and made a start...
Domain of the Dead has some elements standard to most zombie stories – a world over-run, barricaded survivors, an outpost of the living but don’t be misled – the story is more than a super-fast zombie killo-fest. McKinnon is a serious writer who happens to write about the undead. So, his imagery is powerful, his descriptions colour the story and it teems with minute observations about the zombies and the survivors. This makes the whole story feel more immersive. You have to be patient – this is not a slasher book.
 In the tale, a band of survivors is holed up in some dead city. They alive, just. They hear a chopper and race through the streets to reach it. Are they friendly? Will our desperate band of survivors end up better or worse of? I won’t ruin the story but expect some excellent twists and turns from the wily Mr McKinnon.
The author develops his characters well and his expertise in language really shines through. Seriously, if you are after plain action and race through it, you’ll miss the depth that makes this a modern classic.
A good example of one of McKinnon’s observations is the simple vignette about the isolated survivors stranded at the top of a pylon. The chopper pilot sees them getting picked off day after day but can’t help. This isn’t really part of the plot but it tells you more about the guilt of some of his characters, this builds the sick world they all inhabit.
Domain of the Dead will stand the test of time. It’s a well-written zombie novel put together by the tried and tested Permuted Press. I look forward to the sequel and I can’t be the only fan wondering whether they would make this into a movie....
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