Blurb: The world is dead, devoured by a plague of rasping corpses. In a decaying city a band of survivors are barricaded inside a warehouse surrounded by a sea of shambling putrefaction. But now the food is almost gone and the occupants are faced with the slow death of starvation or the undead outside. As Sarah stands on the edge of the warehouse roof preparing to step off into oblivion she spots a glimmer of hope. In the distance she spies a helicopter approaching the city. Is this the salvation they had long since given up on?
Review: After a breathtaking beginning, McKinnon’s Domain of the Dead puts a slight spin on the usual zombie novel stereotypes by having the rest of its action set on a ship out at sea. For a debut author, McKinnon really knows how to draw the reader in, and provides a set of characters that are just nuanced and interesting enough to care about. A few of his soldiers are particularly well constructed, so that when the inevitable mistake gets made and the excrement hits the fan, I found myself genuinely hoping a couple of them would find a way to survive.
That said, this is a first published work, and it’s not perfect. Even though its a short novel and reasonably fast-paced, the info-dump about the zombie plague and the pseudo-science behind it is too much and goes on for too long, almost squandering the good-will established in the first quarter of the novel. There are also a surprising number of typos that can knock the reader right out of the story.
Despite these short-comings, McKinnon has definitely won himself a new fan, and I’m eagerly looking forward to tackling the sequel to Domain, in which characters glimpsed in the early part of this novel get their own story.
4 Bullets to the Head for Domain of the Dead.