Friday, September 10, 2010

[Review] The Dead by David Gatward

Title: The Dead
Author: David Gatward [debut novel!]
Publication: July 1st 2010
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Review Copy: ARC
Pages: 240
My Rating:

Blurb from Goodreads:  
Lazarus Stone is about to turn sixteen when, one night, his normal life is ripped to shreds by a skinless figure drenched in blood.

He has a message: The Dead are coming.

Now Lazarus is all that stands in their way. To fulfil his destiny, he must confront not only the dark past of his family, but horrors more gruesome than even Hell could invent. And it all begins with the reek of rotting flesh ...
 My thoughts: As a contemporary YA lover, this is the first horror novel I have read. Ever. The beginning of the book is great, powerful and really left a great impression on me. The first chapter title is ROTTING MEAT. And yes, throughout the novel, Gatward writes in a way that appeals (or rather, affects) the senses: sight, smell, hearing, a bit of touch... Which is, I guess, especially important to have in a horror story. Leaving the choppy editing (it IS an ARC, after all . . .) aside, this isn't actually half bad. It read pretty quickly for me, and at 240 pages, it was short; not necessarily a bad thing.

The character development could have been more, well, developed. But maybe that's not such a crucial factor for horror, and my limited knowledge in this area is making it kind of hard for me to critically look at this, since this the first time I'm looking at something like this. This is kind of hard.

Last thing I can will myself to say about The Dead is, that there was a fair amount of dialogue. Perhaps a bit too much. Also, some of the dialogue was really unnecessary, or didn't help with pulling along the plot. Um... but, in my opinion, the story wasn't all that bad. The execution was about as good as I could expect of it, and I'm sure as Gatward writes more and more books, some of the things I didn't like so much will be ironed out a bit. {my goodreads "review"}

All in all, if you enjoy anything horror, especially ones dealing with the Dead (what else does horror really address?), you'll probably like this one. I'm interested to read the next book in the series; hopefully I find it as good as I thought this one was. 

Watch out! I'll be giving this copy away next week, on Saturday! (05/09 - 12/09) It will be international, and I will be including a *surprise* bookmark. :) I am giving it away since it's already released, and I'd like another person to read it, too! Please enter only if you're genuinely interested in reading this one!!!

Amazon | The Book Depository

Learn more about The Dead and read more reviews at Goodreads!

The Dead is David Gatward's debut novel, and is book ONE of a planned horror trilogy.


Kristen said... [Reply]

Wow, this one may be too creepy for me. I actually don't read a lot of horror, but that cover really is scary, isn't it? I may check it out just for curiousity's sake. Have you read The Monstrumologist? That's a book that will keep you on your toes.

danya said... [Reply]

Since I'm not a horror fan I will be steering clear of this one, but I have to say that that's the creepiest cover I've seen in a while! I know what you mean, it's difficult to judge a book when it's the first you've read in the genre.

Emily said... [Reply]

I'm a big fan of YA horror but I've never heard of this one before! Thanks for the review!

Girl on a Mission said... [Reply]

I'm not very big fan of horror stories, but I'm glad you sort of liked it. Seems a bit too gory for me.

Jen said... [Reply]

Interesting review! I like what you said about dialogue -- sometimes, it's a little too much and gets in the way of the plot. :)

Aleksandra said... [Reply]

Great review! Sounds like a book I'd enjoy :)

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