11 April 2013

Review: Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

Generation Dead (Generation Dead #1) by Daniel Waters

Published: 6 May 2008 by Hyperion

Pages: 392 (hardcover)

Genre/s: YA, Fantasy, Zombies

Source: Own library


Phoebe Kendall is just your typical Goth girl with a crush. He’s strong and silent…and dead.

All over the country, a strange phenomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. But when they come back to life, they are no longer the same. Feared and misunderstood, they are doing their best to blend into a society that doesn’t want them. 

The administration at Oakvale High attempts to be more welcoming of the “differently biotic." But the students don’t want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn’t breathing. And there are no laws that exist to protect the “living impaired” from the people who want them to disappear—for good. 

When Phoebe falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids, no one can believe it; not her best friend, Margi, and especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has feelings for Phoebe that run much deeper than just friendship; he would do anything for her. But what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?

My Thoughts

It was the cover of Generation Dead that originally caught my eye with it's bright colours and title, but when I read the synopsis, I wasn't 100% sure about the actual book itself.  I'm a zombie purist - I like 'em dead and brainless, and in Generation Dead the teens that come back from the dead, although not breathing, eating or even perfectly mobile, can still talk, go to school and definitely don't eat brains for dinner.

It took me a while to get into the plot as it's fairly slow-moving for the first hundred-odd pages, although the zombies are introduced right the beginning.  Once I got past the slower part however, I found myself enjoying the pace and the plot a lot more, even if it was in the back of my mind that this is everything I don't like in zombie books.

Phoebe is an interesting character, being Gothic and obsessed with some pretty dark music and along with her best friend Margi, is a bit of a social outcast at school.  On the other side of the coin is her childhood friend Adam, who's a football playing jock that lives with his mother and step-father who he nicknames the STD.  All of the characters are unique so they are easily distinguishable from each other, and the living characters are quirky and fun, whereas the undead characters are really quite fascinating.  

It's also great to see the parents having quite a lot of involvement in their childrens' lives, even if it isn't always the most politically correct way of parenting.

One thing that I was really hesitant about was the inevitable ickyness of a potential zombie romance, and although the book starts to veer into love-triangle territory as well, these zombies don't decay, so there's a level of protection from vomit-inducing scenes.

As this is the first book in a series, I didn't expect all my questions about the zombies to be answered so I wasn't overly disappointed to find out that was indeed the case.  The 'zombie-ism' is limited to teenagers, and then not even all teens who pass away come back, and the cause of this 'outbreak' is unknown, although speculation abounds.  

A large part of the plot focuses on the undead and the living learning to get along (for the most part), particularly as the law does not recognise the undead as human beings, and various organisations are springing up around America either in support of, or against establishing basic human rights for the undead.  

Despite a slow start, by the end I actually quite enjoyed Generation Dead, and I'm planning to read the next book in the series, particularly as Mr. Waters writes in a way that I particularly liked, with realistic dialogue and interesting plot ideas (even if zombies shouldn't talk!).


  1. I'm usually put off by books that start off slow, but this sounds like a really good read. Great review!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

    1. I really enjoyed it - it's certainly different, and explores some really interesting issues.

  2. I put this one on my TBR list after you mentioned it in a vlog. I love the cover! I'm glad that you warned us about it being slow to start though so if I pick it up, I'll know what to expect. Great review!

    1. The cover is amazing - unfortunately I couldn't get the rest of the series in the same covers :(

  3. I'm always hesitant one zombie romance books, some can pull it off but most of the time I just find it gross. I think I might try this one out even with it's slow start.

    1. This one isn't gross :) they don't decay!

  4. Can you even call them zombies if they think, talk, don't decay, don't eat brains, etc? Doesn't the absence of these basic characteristics make them something else (sort of like the "undead" people in "Torchwood: Miracle Day", if you've seen that)? Anyway, thanks for the review. I've been tossing up on whether or not to read this one ever since it was first released. I might give it a go now.
    ~ http://www.murderandangst.com



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