Title: Dead New World
Author: Ryan Hill
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Horror
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: October 13, 2014
Zombies aren’t mindless anymore.
Before the world fell into chaos, the undead existed only in the imagination. Now, more of them walk the earth than living. Zombies move about freely, while humans entomb themselves inside concrete barricades to stay alive.
All that, while the leader of a powerful cult – known only as Reverend – becomes the next threat to the rebuilding United States. Believing zombies to be God’s latest creation, making humanity obsolete, he wants to give every man, woman, and child the chance to become one. With his combined army of humans and zombies, he may well get his wish.
Best friends Holt and Ambrose went up against the Reverend once. Holt lost a foot and a zombie bit Ambrose…though he survived the virus, only to become a human-zombie hybrid, reviled by the living and unwelcome among the dead. When the Reverend kidnaps the woman Holt loves, the race is on to save her from a fate worse than death.
Dead New World brought about components from old zombie occult information and mixed it with it’s own unique splash of ingenuity. The zombie outbreak has come and gone and is now a common part of everyone’s lives. People are so deranged by their circumstance that they are willing to follow a man who claims that it is “God’s will” that he lead the zombies and man alike into a new world. Not to mention, in Hill’s version of the zombie apocalypse, not everyone who is bit by a zombie completely turns, they remain half dead half human and are able to control the living dead. However, Soldier Stanley Holt’s world is about to get a little stranger and a whole lot deadlier.
Dead New World started immediately with teeth clenching nail biting action that had me so excited to dive in deep into the world of the undead. I’m usually not a big fan of army books, but Hill found a way to make the story all the more riveting by centering it around soldiers and the war scene. So that was new and different all around for me as a reader. Though the content moved fairly quickly throughout the book, I couldn’t help but notice the somewhat repetitive scenes. It seemed like no sooner Holt and Ambrose were out of one hostage situation they were thrown right back in again, but with a new enemy and new zombies.I just wanted a bit more of change at least in the beginning half of the book than the same sort of conflicts.
I loved that the book’s main goal was rescuing the girl Holt loved (even if I didn’t get to experience much of their romance). It was sweet to read how strongly he felt for her and how determined he was to get to her. His love for Nancy is what kept him grounded and I really like to see those sort of things in apocalyptic books. However, by the time their reunion came around, I barely got to enjoy it before something unbelievably horrifying happened that completely shocked me to the core. I had no idea the author would choose to take such risks with the course of events of this book. It truthfully dampened how I felt about the story overall, and I wish it had taken a different turn.
So despite the few disappointing plot developments in Dead New World, I was still kept thoroughly entertained and felt that it was an overall unique new addition to the zombie world.
Growing up, Ryan Hill used to spend his time reading and writing instead of doing homework. This resulted in an obsession with becoming a writer, but also a gross incompetence in the fields of science and mathematics. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Ryan has been a film critic for over five years. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with his dog/shadow Maggie. Ryan also feels strange about referring to himself in the third person.