“ Genre: Horror / Author: Robert Swartwood / Kindle Edition / 368 Pages / Book is published 2011-04-11 by RMS Press „
The Dishonoured Dead is a Zombie novel like no other I have ever read. Set in a dystopian future where the living are now hunted and called Zombies, the book takes the usual premise of a George Romero inspired spin-off and turns everything all around and puts it on its head!
Conrad is one of the animated dead and a Hunter charged with tracking down Zombies; those who formerly thought of themselves as human. In the thousand years or so since the Dead have taken over, they have re-established civilisation and their own form of society and somehow evolved to the point where they can consume food and reproduce even though their organs no longer function and their hearts no longer beat. There is never any satisfying explanation for this, it is just something you have to go along with and although this sounds like it really shouldn't work, instead as a concept it really kind of does. Because this book is less about the differences between the Living and the Dead but more about how similar these two seperate and distinct races have become.
In this not-so-brave-new-world, all emotion and free thought or expressionism is banned. The whole reason the Human race supposedly doomed itself in the first place was because it chose to express its creativity in the form of art, music and literature. So books, painting and anything expressive of that nature is outlawed on pain of Expiration. Humans who are caught are publically beheaded and there is much fear and panic that children up to the age of 10 are susceptible to being changed; transformed back into one of the Living.
All things are dead. So the National Parks are full of dead plants, the Dead keep reanimated fish in tropical fish tanks as pets and the Living are hunted down and killed at every opportunity. But "Living" Activists, Undead who believe the Living deserve rights, threaten the very existance of this current "perfect" society and soon Conrad finds himself being hunted by those who have identifed him as a target! And when Conrad is promoted to a new, secret Goverment project where the Dead are experimenting with ways that the Living and the Dead can live together in harmony, he finds everything he thought he knew about his life placed in total jeopardy.
One thing is certain, after events in this book are done things will NEVER be the same again.....
This is an awesome, awesome novel and a fresh approach to a genre that has become flooded with entries in recent times; not just in films but also in literary fiction. Although it has some faults, the way that Swartwod pulls everything together by the end is inspired and this truly is a breath of fresh air in established Zombie fiction! There is so many good ideas and concepts here that a few plot flaws are easily over-looked!
Some peole on Amazon have moaned and complained about the fact that some of the Dead allegedly seem to show emotion, feel pain etc in the midst of what goes on but if you actually read this properly you soon discover that the Dead do not actually FEEL these things, they are just imitating Humanity and that much of what they think they feel is quite simply all in their head. The fact that they are attempting to copy-cat the Living to this extent says much about their society and this book actually raises a lot of very interesting psychological questions about our own civilisation whilst also almost being a satirical look at our current generation!
In my honest opinion, there is much more here to like than there is to dis-like and this really is a Kindle book worth reading! When I downloaded it, it was free but since then it has become available at a small charge and very little cost; around £1.77 I believe. Certainly if you are looking for something different, it is definitely worth picking up!