Dead of Night audiobook review

Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel - Jonathan Maberry, William Dufris
My fourth audiobook was my favourite one yet, but still not as enjoyable as reading at my own pace. I would never have even listened to Dead of Night (and would have instead eventually read it as an ebook) were it not for the fact that I forgot to suspend my Australian audiobook account. $14.95 later, I figured I may as well pick something and go with it. Dead of Night was that choice, and for the most part, it was a good one.

Narrator William Dufris is expressive and engaging as he relates the horror of Maberry's homage to George Romero, which also serves as the adult-answer to his ROT & RUIN series. The novel itself is a fairly standard exploration of small-town America being menaced by zombies, but it does offer two distinct, somewhat inventive variations on this narrative. The first is the genesis of the infection that turns people into zombies, as it veers away from the "terrorist weapon" we've all read about a thousand times. The second is the way in which the infected people continue to inhabit their bodies after they die but have no control over themselves as they rend, tear and devour any living person they come across. Now that's horrific!

Maberry populates his small town with only a few major characters - the rest serving as obvious zombie fodder - and of these, the two mains, Desdemona Fox and Billy Trout, not only sport silly names but are less than likeable. Dez, in particular, grates as an overly simplistic cliche, who spends way too much time voicing her thoughts in the manner that only fictional characters seem to. Billy fares slightly better, but his storyline serves to uncover most of the exposition, so his scenes eventually become boring.

Still, Maberry conjures up a few memorable scenes of zombies plowing through the town's police force and then the town itself, before everyone gravitates toward a central location for the final showdown - complete with government forces who may not have the survivor's best interests at heart ...

Though far from a great zombie novel, Dead of Night is a better than average, gory take on the sub-genre. Fans of Maberry and the cannibalistic living dead are unlikely to be disappointed.

3.5 Fates Worse Than Death for Dead of Night.