A review by moto1480
Empire by David Dunwoody


UGH. So much potential in this book and most of it wasted. The author seemed unable to decide whether he wanted the story to be: 1) supernatural and Lovecraft-like, 2) a gritty, military Band of Brothers tale, 3) a survival against the odds, 4) commentary on the US government or 5) Death (the horseman) shows up and takes back the world from the zombies. It feels like he just threw all of these ideas against a wall and hoped that a coherent story came out of it. I'm sure you could guess how that went.

Also, violence against women: can we quit using that as an insta-sympathize card? It just felt gratuitous and completely unnecessary. The character that experienced said violence was already in a terrible situation without that added to it. In the same vein, why was there not one, but TWO, pedophiles in this book? I could understand the writer's need to have the villain lean that way, but for the other character? Not relevant and added nothing to the story. Finally, some pointless death is acceptable (after all, it's a story about zombies) but there were several characters who were introduced only to die in the next, or sometimes even the same, chapter. Why am I supposed to care who lives or dies if they're all theoretically going to go for no good reason except to raise the body count?

The tragedy of this book is that there is a good story in the text dying (no pun intended) to get out. The Death plotline by itself was excellent. I found myself greedily reading through the chapters he appeared in and hoping he'd show up more. Most of the human characters were completely unlikable. I don't necessarily need someone to root for in the books I read, but when the only two decent human characters are a child (who is the epitome of naive and serves no real purpose but to move the plot along) and a reverend who has mostly lost her faith...well, out of a cast of about 20-25 characters, it gets tiring.

So much chaff, not enough wheat. I'll probably read the sequel, but only because I want more Death.