Jul 12 - All the Dead Are Here - Pete Bevan
A Good Addition to the Genre of Zombie Short Stories
(Click Book to purchase from Amazon.com)
I hadn't read any of Pete Bevan's stories before & approached them with some caution after reading the doting and over-zealous reviews below. However, after reading this volume of short stories I have to say to this book is a fine addition to the field of zombie short stories.
It is not easy for a new author to publish short stories but this is a well-produced & put together collection. The book itself is very well done with a good cover & very pleased over-sized layout. It's a good 180 pages long with 17 stories of varying lengths. The one thing that binds them all is the theme of the walking dead...
Bevan is at his best in his contemporary stories such as the opening piece Islands, which has strong echoes of the remade Dawn of the Dead. The author throws you immediately in a battle for survival as an isolated guy holding out on a roof. Other tales of note in the collection include the twisty Cadish & The Boy - both strong tales.
For me, his period piece The Isle of the Ungodly is one of the weaker stories & I didn't feel like I was hearing the authors real voice here, it was too contrived for me. However, this is easily balanced out by other standouts such as the curiously titled Leaving Liminality & Bevan's excellent Minister series of stories.
All in all, this is a very good first collection. The author is at his best when his writing is simple, direct & razor-sharp, over the foundation of a good story - of which there are many here. Sometimes I feel Bevan struggles to escape the shadow of other writers & one senses the strong influence of other authors in the work sometimes but this is natural for a newer writer as they find their own style & doesn't detract from the value of this stories.
The Ministry series is a fine achievement in its self & I'll watch with interest to see what Pete Bevan comes up with next. I am a great lover & supporter of short stories so it's nice to see a new author put out a first collection like this.