Of the Dead and Dying: Tales of the Apocalypse Review

Of the Dead and Dying: Tales of the Apocalypse is a collection of zombie stories put out by Witty Bard Publishing.

Snack Run by Erik Schubach – This story was short and sweet with sass and attitude.

All It Takes is One by Verex Sythe – A unique take on the zombie virus with good characters and fast-paced action. This appears to be a prologue or excerpt from a longer piece and it certainly intrigued me enough to go looking for the rest of the story.

Juggling Memories by Wayne Hills – CAUTION STORY SPOILERS – Rednecks and zombies. This story had dark humour and a disturbing moment that made me just a little squeamish. But it figures that two rednecks would turn a peaceful zombie return into a violent zombie apocalypse. And the gator? A great touch.

Death so Vivid by A.J. Brown – I swear I didn’t see the twist coming in this one. Aside from a well written plot twist I found little of interest in this story.

Mommy by Madeline Korver – As a mother this story disturbed me, but hey, it’s the zombie apocalypse, it’s supposed to be disturbing.

To Conquer the Sea by Joanna Maciejewska – This one was very unique and dealt more with the end of the world in general than with zombies specifically. I liked the detail and in depth story telling. I liked the snippets of character back story.

Trapped by Mathew McKiernan – Very short with an interesting first person narrative that ends with a bit of a cop out twist. I thought the main character was interesting enough to want to know what happened to him and I felt the ending was a bit of a let down.

Hungry? by Dana Alyce-schwarz – An interesting look at life continuing successfully during a zombie apocalypse. The author really made me hate one character in particular by building up hints and suggestions until dark truth made his ending so satisfactory. Love the tech and the way people just seem to go on with their lives.

World Gone Pale by Ellie Christina – This was a little esoteric for my tastes but it was well written with beautiful language.

Ice Harbour by Matt Potter – Another unique look at the zombie virus and what it does to people. I liked the narrative shift. The pacing was good, for the most part, but I think this story would have benefited from being longer.

Five Months by A.E. Santana – This was a heart wrenching story. OMG I was applauding the main character at the end. The end of the world will make monsters of us all, in one way or another. Wow.

Eat Me by Mac Jones – This was a cute story about a socially awkward young man trying to survive in a world full of zombies. He’s a bit of a sorry character but the ending was fun.

Under a Burning Sky by William Tham Wai Liang – A longer story and very detailed. I found this one dragged a little for me but it was still very interesting and looked at zombies as magical/spiritual instead of being created by a virus.

After the Waves Come by Veronica Crawford – This was an end of the world story without zombies and with a very strong female character. I loved her from the start and the ending was wonderful.

For Want of a Nail by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt – This story made me cry. Wow. What a strong character, you will love this main character instantly. And you will cry for him. And the gut wrenching revelation of the ending, ow. This was one of the best stories in the collection.

Overall the collection was well balanced between short and long stories, and contained many unique ideas and voices. There were enough light-hearted stories to off-set the natural darkness of the theme. I am not usually a fan of zombie stories but I recommend this collection to anyone who is.

4 stars.


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