Today I got the pleasure to review:
Genre: Zombie Horror
Written By: Greg Lamberson
Print Length: 110 pages
Publisher: Creeping Hemlock Press
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Carnage Road is a short, visceral little book that is all meat and teeth. Right from the start we are thrown into a world ravaged by “ghouls”. These creatures are pretty much zombies, even if they are never outright called such. Using the word ghoul dregs up creatures that devour the dead, not creatures that devour the living, but I wouldn't put it past these shambling corpses to get desperate enough to eat their own kind. They are zombies, no matter what they are called, and they are descendants of such creatures we've seen before in a George A. Romero flick.
Which is actually part of the charm of this book. It doesn't pretend to be anything but what it is, a book about a couple of bikers trying to survive the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. The real beauty, or should I say horror, of this story doesn't come from the setting. It’s a well-crafted setting though, along with everything else in this tale, but the real power comes from the characters Lamberson creates. I love the two bikers, Boone and Walker. They are bad people, and yet somehow I love them more for that.
Boone and Walker are the last of a biker club. When I say biker club, I’m talking along the lines of Sons of Anarchy. They are hard, brutal men who have done terrible things in the name of brotherhood. They aren't a suffering father looking for his son, or a man waking up in a hospital after doomsday. They are cold, brutal killers. It’s kind of refreshing to follow survivors who fall under a grey category. They aren't good or evil per say. They don’t become good or evil either through the course of the story. If anything, they are just exactly as they always were, even when they lose their fellow club members and go off on their own. They are complicated, interesting, and in the end, just hard men who've done and continue to do hard things.
Because of Boone’s desire to see America, they give us a good snapshot of what has become of it. Through their travels, they fall into some very scary situations, as Walker tries to get Boone to Hollywood. They do make it to Hollywood, but along the way their friendship is tested when they find out how terrible things are in other places. Sometimes it’s what humans do to each other that remind us that we are no worse than the “ghouls” beside us. Topics such as fame, racism and more are touched upon in this little novella.
The ending was a very surprising one as well, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Heck, I loved this book. It was a great little zombie tale, with true horror and dread laced throughout. It was all very human too, very painfully real. Lamberson doesn't hold back.
So if you are looking for something that is a cross between Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead, here it is. Condensed into 81 pages of brutal awesome. You won’t be disappointed.
You can also read this review on Goodreads!
BOONE AND WALKER
Boone and Walker are the last members of the Floating Dragons motorcycle gang. When the zombie apocalypse turns the world upside down, they hit the open road to discover America. No responsibilities, no rules, no system. Like Frank and Jesse James, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, all they need are steeds and sidearms.
THE ROAD TO HELL
But this bloodstained road is paved with the walking dead: shambling corpses starved for living flesh. The few humans left are no less hungry, and Boone and Walker encounter remnants of civilization desperate to survive. In some cases, the living are even more dangerous than the dead.
First west to Hollywood to gaze at the stars, then southeast to the badlands of Texas, Boone and Walker make a last stand on behalf of humanity. Along the way guns blaze, rotting flesh bakes on the asphalt, and friendship and loyalty are tested to their limits.
CARNAGE ROAD is Gregory Lamberson’s unforgettable ode to westerns, biker pictures, and the cinema of the living dead.
The CARNAGE ROAD e-book contains a 10,000+ word FREE preview of four chilling PRINT IS DEAD titles: PRAY TO STAY DEAD, WORLD IN RED, REANIMATED AMERICANS, and SCAVENGERS.
PRINT IS DEAD is a new line of top-quality zombie novels brought to you by the critically acclaimed indie publisher, Creeping Hemlock Press. Each title is available in both paperback and e-book format.
GEORGE A. ROMERO ON PRINT IS DEAD:
"These guys know more about the undead than I do. and that's saying something, because I've been hanging out with zombies for as long as I can remember."