The Complete Double Dead

March 10, 2016 - 3:00 pm No Comments

Author: Chuck Wendig
Publisher: Abaddon Books
Page Count: 384pp
Release date: 9th Feb 2016
Release Date: Reviewer Theresa Derwin

I will start with these words; Chuck Wendig is a God – a god of literature that is. From his informative blog terribleminds.com to his writerly advice in Kick-Ass Writer, the astounding Miriam Black series and now, The Complete Double Dead, Chuck is a master of the art of storytelling.
I first came across his work in 2012 with the Tomes of the Dead, Double Dead, and now, re-reading it, it blew me away just as it did four years ago.
Colborn is a bit of an arsehole and a vampire.  He doesn’t like people and people don’t 
like him. Five years ago he went to sleep buried under a movie theatre, now he wakes up to the smell and taste of blood, and the stench of rot. The world has gone to hell. It’s a godamned zombie apocalypse. The ‘double dead’ roam and rule. Doesn’t leave much hope for Coborn’s continuing survival with no humans to snack on. Well, Coborn isn’t timid, so he leaves the theatre, and far in the distance he smells blood; human blood.
For Carl, the apocalypse is working out quite well; doesn’t like cats, doesn’t like dogs (apart from as dinner) doesn’t like people. Interrupting Carl’s dinner, Coborn has his own dinner at Carl’s expense, then ‘rescues’ the little dog in a cage, which he promptly names Creampuff; his delicious snack for later. Or so he tells himself, as he travels the dusty roads looking for humans to feed upon. At last he finds an occupied RV, but Coborn’s known world is about to go tits up when he meets a young girl – a frail, pretty bird-like girl, who will bring meaning to his new existence. Layla could be the very answer humanity is looking for; a walking, talking cure.
Coborn is sardonic, sarcastic and downright mean to the ‘sheeples’ he has agreed to protect, but he’s damn funny with it. Wendig has a way with words, and a way of building tension without losing his sense of humour. The bit with ‘the Queen’ is particularly amusing though I won’t spoil it for you.
This is pure apocalypse gold – imagine The Road with attitude, ‘directed’ by Tarantino. 
Coborn and his weird entourage travel the dusty, desolate roads of America, like Mad Max with fangs and guns. And on a level of crazy, it’s up there with the best – Jeff Strand, Shane McKenzie and Adam Millard.
Part bizarro, part batshit crazy (think Z Nation) part journey through life, the Complete Double Dead has it all. And there is no shortage of monsters, from the rather inept Thuglow to the ‘Bitch Beast’ who is an amalgam of all sorts of creatures.  This puts the fear and the blood back into cutie-fief genres. It is simply Awe-Zom.

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