Coburn just woke up. Coburn has been asleep for the past five years (not strictly by choice, and he is now awake and hungry, and for someone like Coburn … a vampire … being hungry is not good for the rest of the world. Unfortunately, however, Coburn woke up to a world in which everyone (or almost everyone) is dead. Not dead like he is, with a thirst for blood and a keen intellect, but rather dead with rotten blood and a hunger for brains.
Awake now in a world in which most of the blood around him won’t sustain him, Coburn the vampire is hungry and must fight off the other undead seeking to be sated by the few remaining living humans.
Chuck Wendig has become one of my favorite authors … someone whose books I actively search for. His prose is delicious, his characters gritty, real, and often on edge, and his stories always have a bite to them (pun slightly intended).
Double Dead is one of Wendig’s earliest published novels and for the discerning Wendig reader, one can tell. Even though we’ve got an angry vampire as our protagonist, Coburn doesn’t have nearly the venom or heated angst as other Wendig characters, such as Miriam Black or Atlanta Burns (or is the fact that Miriam and Atlanta are teenage girls simply make them seem more venomous?). Some of the biting humor is still here, and the world we’re visiting is bleak and dark, though it’s a bit more manufactured – its dark because the population has become zombies, rather than being dark because of the seedier side of human nature as we see later on.
I’ve been reading (and a fan of) vampire fiction since the mid-1970’s so I really thought I found gold to find a vampire Wendig novel, and I did enjoy the take here, with the vampire struggling to find the food he needs.
I have not, however, been a fan of zombie fiction (though I did really like Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series). A vampire story can be about the vampire, but a zombie story is about someone else surviving in a zombie world.
As vampire novels go, this is a fun read, though it does feel a bit repetitive by the end. As a Chuck Wendig book, it clearly shows signs of being an early Wendig work, hinting at what he’ll produce later, but not yet his best work.
This book contains both Double Dead and Double Dead: Bad Blood.
Looking for a good book? Fans of paranormal fantasy, specifically vampire and zombie fiction, will find Chuck Wendig’s Double Dead to be a good vacation read.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Chuck Wendig
paperback, 432 pages