Review: Double Dead by Chuck Wendig

Double Dead is the first full-length novel from Penmonkey Chuck Wendig. It features a vampire who wakes up in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. It rocks. It was released November 15th, 2011 from Abaddon. I read the e-book.

The Blurb (as posted on Terrible Minds)

Poor, poor Coburn. Once the king of his castle — his castle being New York City — he awakens from slumber to discover that his city and his world have been gobbled up by a zombie apocalypse.

Most of the humans are dead.

Which means his food source is spoiled. Vampire can’t live on dead blood, after all.

And so the vampire must move from predator to protector, a shepherd who must find a food source and stand vigil over the herd. It’s not an easy transition, of course. The monster is still a monster, after all.

(This ain’t Twilight, folks. Only way Coburn glitters is if he kills and eats a stripper.)

Along the way, what will he discover about the world? About the girl he protects? And about himself?

Gotta read it to find out.

A vampire in zombieland.

Featuring:

A teenage girl with a healing gift!

Zombie evolution!

Wal-Mart cannibals!

An army of Route 66 Juggalos!

A little white terrier named “Creampuff!”

And, of course, one cranky-ass cocky fuck of a vampire: Coburn.

My Review

I pretty much agree with Chuck. The only way a vampire should glitter is if he eats a stripper. Because – and this may be news to some of you, so if you feel light-headed go ahead and please sit down… Vampires eat people. The idea of a “vegetarian” vampire is ridiculous and should only be used for comedic purposes. (What would be the vampiric equivalent of Crohn’s disease? Now that would have made Twilight much more interesting!)

That established, I will say that Coburn is a bit of an asshole. To my mind, however, that’s to be expected when someone decides to make conversation with their food. If I tried to talk to a herd of cows, they’d probably think I was an asshole too. They’d be right. (Side note: mmmmm, steak!) He is ultimately motivated by self-interest, but as a reader you can’t really blame him for that. I’d be trying to protect my food supply, too, if the apocalypse was happening.

Double Dead isn’t for the queasy. Even the title is an adjective describing meat that has come from a diseased animal. One of Coburn’s meals (a fat guy) is described as “buttery”. The zombies are described in lovingly disgusting detail, and the Wal-Mart cannibals are absolutely horrifying. Yet somehow they are apt – especially their leader, who I will let you discover for yourself. I think I am grateful I’ve already vowed never to set foot in another Wal-Mart. Ever. Again.

This book is by turns revolting, touching, and hilarious. I loved the juggalos (though I wonder how many people out there would even get the reference?) It’s a big dose of horror, a little bit action-adventure, a dash of comedy, and a tiny bit redemption story. I loved it. Just when I thought I was absolutely sick of vampire stories, Double Dead came along and changed my mind.