Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Genre Character of the Week: Ed Moore

Over the weekend I read the novel Apocalypse of the Dead by Joe McKinney, it is the second novel in his “Dead World” series, and other than a few mentions of the events and characters from the first novel, it is a stand-alone story.  Following a very large number of people through a zombie apocalypse, the stand outs for me were a young convict name Billy Stine, and this weeks genre character, Ed Moore.

Ed is a retired U.S. Marshall, who at the beginning of the story is living in a retirement community in Florida when a plague of zombies hit the shore, quickly changing the populace into even more zombies through bites and scratches (like the film …28 Days Later the zombies in McKinney’s world are actually humans suffering from a virus, rather than reanimated corpses)  Immediately taking charge of the small group of survivors

The first thing I like about Ed is the concept; usually in zombie stories the elderly are simply victims or would-be victims that our heroes need to save so the idea of a man in his seventies who can hold his own against zombies while still coming across as a real character had a great appeal to me.  The second thing I like about Ed was the fact that he’s an incredibly old school, cowboy type, tipping his hat to ladies when he says hello and rebuking Billy for his foul language around women and children.

As a novel I felt it was a little too busy, the number of significant characters was over a dozen and as we switched from storyline to storyline it often took me a little while to figure out exactly which character was being written about.  A big part of the appeal of Ed is that as a character he was so well written I never had this problem.

I’m currently reading McKinney ’s “Dead World” series as the third novel, The Flesh Eaters, won last years Bram Stoker award for best horror novel, and I wanted the context I would get by reading the entire series. The book was pretty good, unlike Dead City I don’t think I’ll purchase it as the number of characters was a little unwieldy for me, but overall it was a pretty sold zombie apocalypse novel.

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