Living on a warm, beautiful peninsula is like waking up every morning in a dream; but when the earth starts to give up her dead, it quickly becomes a terrifying nightmare. Dead Tide is a start-up novel from Library of the Living Dead and author Stephen A. North. The narrative covers about one day’s time shortly after hell closes its doors. There is no containment procedure. No emergency plan in place. The characters must figure out how they will each personally deal with the Apocalypse.
The structure of the novel feels very different. It is written in very short chapters, sometimes only a page or two long, which chronicles a single survivor or small group as they do their best to stay away from the hungry dead and get off the peninsula. It’s a structure you’ll either catch on to, or not. For myself, the hardest part was keeping the characters in place. There are quite a few survivors and it made it hard to track them all at times, but each of them is well-developed and interesting. Definitely worth the effort.
Another aspect of the book’s structure is that it’s written in the present tense. It’s as if you’re listening to a radio broadcast and getting a play-by-play. It definitely took a chapter or two for me to get accustomed to it, but when I did I actually began to enjoy it. This style of writing actually made me feel like the action was more believable, like the outcome of each encounter was as of yet undetermined, and I was along for the ride for the very first time.
The thing that I enjoyed most about the book is something I’ve mentioned many times before at various points; the story focuses on the people and the way they cope with the end of the world. The Zombies are an ever present danger, but they are the foundation that the story of overcoming adversity is built upon. The zombies are predictable and constantly yearning to feed on the living. The survivors are either noble or vile and they come into multiple conflicts with one another. The story is about the people and their will to survive seemingly insurmountable hardship.