Deck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable. Undead.
Release Date: 3rd October 2012
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Source: Review copy received from publisher.
Synopsis: Imagine being trapped aboard the doomed Titanic on an icy Atlantic. . . with the walking dead. This fast-paced thriller reimagines the historical events of the fateful Titanic voyage through the lens of zombie mayhem. Captain Edward Smith and his inner circle desperately try to contain a weaponized zombie virus smuggled on board with the 2,200 passengers sailing to New York. Faced with an exploding population of lumbering, flesh-hungry undead, Smith's team is forced into bloody hand-to-hand combat down the narrow halls of the huge steamer. In its few short days at sea, the majestic Titanic turns into a Victorian bloodbath, steaming at top speed toward a cold, blue iceberg. A creepy, tense page-turner, Deck Z will thrill zombie fans and Titanic buffs alike.
Review: I'm quite interested in the Titanic. My younger brother is a fanatic even though he is only 11 years old. So it can be said I know many random facts about the doomed ship. When I saw this book, I wondered how or even if this book would work. The concept is interesting and unique. Recently I've been reading a lot of zombie novels so this tugged at me straight away. It mixes both history and horror together and it works brilliantly. It isn't over the top and it's not boring. The novel keeps the reader interested with gore and action which is all limited to the closed quarters and halls of the beloved Titanic. It's also believable. This was my main concern, I didn't know how this could work, how would zombies get on the Titanic? Well it happens much differently to how I imagined and because of that it makes the whole thing possible. Just the prospect that this could happen is frightening enough but when it's in a confined space, well all hell breaks loose.
The novel begins telling the reader of how Theodor Weiss, a German scientist came across a deadly plague. He takes a victim back to his mountain retreat and tries to find the cause of the plague and find a cure. Once he has extracted the deadly Toxic from the subject, he runs for his life. He realises that the German government are out to steal the Toxic and use it as a weapon. He manages to get to Southampton dock where the worlds finest ocean liner awaits. An Agent is at his heals, trying to steal the Toxic for the government. Aboard the ship things don't go as planned. The stolen Toxic begins to affect the passengers turning them into horrible zombies. The plague will spread quickly Weiss and the captain need to quarantine the infected before it's too late. What both don't realise is tragedy awaits them in the form of an iceberg.
The book is told from multiple point of views. The main ones being Weiss, Captain Smith, J. Bruce Ismay and Lou. Theodor Weiss is the scientist and the main character of Deck Z. He's the one who discovered the plague and thinks it's his duty to find a cure or if that's impossible get rid of the Toxic before others get affected. He was always trying to make sure people remained safe, it didn't matter if he put himself in danger he wanted to be sure no one else would be infected. Right until the end that was his duty and he wouldn't let go until it was fulfilled. I liked Captain Smith, he was strong willed and could hold his own in a fight. He was the man everyone looked up too, and until the end he remained level headed and in charge. He knew the threat the plague possessed and he would make sure his last ship would remain secure. I didn't like Ismay's character he was stuck up and always wanted to make himself look good. He disobeyed the captains orders and I'm actually quite glad he would live with guilt for the rest of his life. He was a coward. Lou was the young girl Weiss met at the start and they were partners until the end. She was fiery and more boyish than a young lady should be, she was great and even when zombies threatened her she stayed strong.
The beginning of this book I found a bit slow but that's to be expected as we get the back story of the characters and the plague. As soon as we were abroad the Titanic all hell broke loose. From then onwards the book was action packed and fast paced. The zombies were gruesome and horribly described, scary isn't a strong enough word for them. It was great. This book really surprised me, it mixes history and horror to create an intriguing story that hooks the reader until the end. If you're a fan of zombies I recommend this. Deck Z is a quick action filled read that I really enjoyed.
I also loved the layout of this book, it looked like it had came from the time. Each chapter held the place and time the events happened. The text looked old and vintage. I liked how the book was split into three stages just like the plague could be broken down into the three stages. I also liked the little illustration under the chapter number which symbolised the chapter. The layout of this book seemed very well thought through and it really adds to the history in the book.
Thanks to Chronicle books for providing me with a review copy.