Deck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable. Undead.
By: Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon
I always love the random good book find. You know those? The ones where you aren’t expecting to find a book or aren’t even looking for one, but it just catches your eye and goes “Read me.” That’s how I found Deck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable, Undead by Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon. I was visiting my long-time best friend and we were going to watch movies in her room (Disney’s Brother Bear if anyone was wondering). While she set up the movie I scanned her bookshelf, as I am predictably going to do if there is any bookshelf nearby, and this book did it. “Read Me!”
Before I get into the details, there is a pretty cool “book trailer” for Deck Z provided by Amazon.com that I think you guys should check out.
There has been a recent trend in novels where original stories or accounts of historical events are rewritten to include some type of horror as a major part of their plot. For example, publisher Quirk Books’ Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Android Karenina, and Seth Grahame-Smith’s (author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, also a Quirk Books work) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which is now a major motion picture. Deck Z fits easily into this new thriller genre.
The story takes place on the infamous maiden voyage of the unsinkable Titanic in April of 1912. Now, if you don’t know anything about the Titanic, I would like to direct you to the 1997 James Cameron film ‘Titanic’ (Spoiler Alert: It sinks). For the rest of us, we continue on. In 1912, German microbiologist Dr. Theodor Weiss discovers that a new plague, which turns its victims into mindless-violent-flesh-consuming monsters (a.k.a. ZOMBIES!), is going to be used used by the German government as a biological weapon against their enemies as World War One looms on the horizon. Fearing the worst should the German’s unleash the plague, Dr. Weiss attempts to defect to America, taking the sole sample of the plague with him so that he may continue his research on the disease. Running from German authorities, Weiss attempts to leave Europe on the Titanic. But he is followed on board and the disease is released. Passengers, both rich and poor alike, and crew men become sick and turn into flesh-eating zombies. As Weiss, joined by famous figures such as ship’s captain Edward Smith and Titanic’s designer Thomas Andrews, battle to contain the plague, the ship itself is in danger having struck an iceberg. (dun-dun-DUUUUUHHH!!!)
Now I could go on, and I really want to, but I would be giving too much away and spoil the entire book.
Deck Z was a blast to read, like seriously fun. The zombies are not your typical black-and-white film slow, shambling zombies who run into a wall and are stuck. They are fast, strong, intelligent in the form of problem solving, and a pain in the butt to kill, especially in the cramped confines of an ocean liner. The story takes you across Europe, across the Atlantic (most of the way at least), and through the maze of Titanic’s passenger decks and mechanical underbelly. The disease, the stages of its progression, and its transmission all make it sound like the plague is realistic, which is always a plus. A cool formatting style that Pauls and Solomon used was to split the book into three sections, mirroring the three stages of the disease. The first stage is where the story is set up and things aren’t really that bad, the second stage is where things get worse and start getting out of hand, and the third stage, like the disease, is where all hell breaks loose.
I loved the characters of Dr. Weiss, the Agent, and Lou, all original characters who play important roles in the book, and I loved how famous figures like Captain Smith and Mr. Andrews are pulled in. There is even a cameo of everyone’s film favorite, Molly Brown. What I really liked is that it was one of those thrillers that had you going “On no!”, “Look out!”, “RUUUUUUNNN!! Run run run run run!” It got me involved. I was nervous, scared, frustrated, horrified, surprised. It’s a roller coaster of an adventure! There are even some fantastic pot twists that I wont tell you about because then I would be giving it away.
Seriously, I devoured the book because I just couldn’t put it down. It was that good. I suggest that you all read it and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I think, for Deck Z being Pauls and Solomon’s first novel, it was fantastic.
Chris Pauls’ Twitter: https://twitter.com/chris_pauls
Matt Solomon’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/monkeemind
Amazon (US)(paperback and e-book): http://www.amazon.com/Deck-The-Titanic-Unsinkable-Undead/dp/145210803X
Amazon (Canada)(paperback and e-book): http://www.amazon.ca/Deck-Z-Titanic-Unsinkable-Undead/dp/145210803X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403642584&sr=8-1&keywords=deck+z
Barnes and Noble (paperback and e-book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deck-z-chris-pauls/1112092782?ean=9781452108032
From the publisher – Chronicle Books: http://www.chroniclebooks.com/titles/deck-z-the-titanic.html