Thursday Aug 18, 2022

Genre Clash – Zombies Meet Body Horror

The-New-Ecology-of-Death-James-Robert-SmithYou know what I miss?  Classic monster movies.  Godzilla destroying a city.  An alien Thing terrorizing people in a god-forsaken wilderness of ice and snow.  A ginormous shark cruising beaches during the 4th of July.  Bring it on!  But, in spite of all of that, I do love my zombies.  I love those pus-filled, shambling wrecks.  I love the runners and sprinters, the spitters, and the groaners.

Why choose when I can have both?  Severed Press just released The New Ecology of Death, written by James Robert Smith.  It combines all the terror of a standard zombie apocalypse with the excitement and innovation of a monster story, and then he goes one step further.  Smith taps into the body horror genre, adding the right amount of classy gore.

The New Ecology of Death begins with zombie Alex Wenzler recovering his consciousness – one might go so far as to say that the fog of death was lifted.  Alex is drawn inexorably to his son Mark, and begins a dangerous trek that brings him ever closer to the living.  Meanwhile, Alex’s widow Beth has remarried and moved on with her life.  She, her son Mark, and her new husband Davis now live in a mansion surrounded by an iron gate.  Her new husband works for the CDC as a statistician.  It’s largely a comfortable life, marred only by the possibility that Alex might stagger hungrily back into it at an inopportune moment.  Alex’s journey will bring them all to a train wreck of epic proportions, one that will set in motion a horrible second  apocalypse that will bring new and more frightening threats to everyone.  Lives will once again be at stake, and it will leave readers begging for a sequel.

I couldn’t have hoped for a better cover for this story.  The pulp fiction style cover (even sporting an out-dated price of 10 cents) speaks to the retro roots of this tale.  It also gives readers a peek at what’s to come – hinting at the zombie transformation concealed within the pages of the book.  Fans of classic body horror movies such as John Carpenter’s The Thing and classic zombie movies such as Romero’s trilogy, will be thrilled with Smith’s literary skill.

The New Ecology of Death by James Robert Smith should be on every horror fanatic’s bookshelf, and likewise in every horror fanatic’s Kindle.  The way Smith ends his book suggests a strong possibility of a sequel.  Grab The New Ecology now, so that you’re not stuck playing catch-up later!

Holly Ann Kasprzak

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