Max, the unapproachable vlogger known as Asphyxia Stardust, has plans to host Vegas’s first zombie walk. But Zymetech Biolabs decided to jump the gun and have a zombie walk Vegas won’t forget. As the number of undead begin to multiply, Gunner, head security for Zymetech and war veteran, is forced back into action. Authorities write the incident off as an attempted rape, despite her corroborating Gunners account of the events. The problem is…the bodies of those killed in the attack aren’t there anymore. A cover up is afoot!
The story is similar to many of those in the zombie realm. An infection, engineered by man, is used against it’s creator. The infection spreads, breeding ravenous undead, causing those infected to turn to mindless flesh eaters infecting everyone they bite. The real originality is in the unique characters and setting, which is where Sagliani’s books excel. The Rising Dead is set in Las Vegas, but not the Overdone Vegas strip. Instead it takes place on the less glamorous side of Vegas. A run-down apartment complex referred to as ‘Thunderdome’, a place cops won’t even go, is home to a cast of misfits fighting for survival. Gunner, war vet and conspiracy theorist suffering from PTSD is prepared for anything and leads Max and the other Thunderdome survivors to safety…well, tries to at least.
There is no shortage of characters in The Rising Dead, which can sometimes overwhelm readers. As different as each character is, they blend together well to deliver an engaging story. Typical frat boy turns agent of God, Holt’s embarks on a killing spree of undead proportion. His drunken escapades inject some light comedy into an intense story.
The political subplot weaved within leave many things questions unanswered for the amount of detail provided. The story could have been just as good or better had this concept been developed further. The ending leaves the door open for a sequel in such a way that lets readers know their questions will be answered.
The Rising Dead appeals to a broad audience. The dialogue and character’s age group gives it a young adult feel, while the content is graphic and earns this title a mature content warning. Even with the bits that could be improved on, great plot, quirky characters, and non-stop action makes The Rising Dead an excellent work of fiction.