Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: The Neuropathology of Zombies

The Neuropathology of Zombies
The Neuropathology of Zombies by Peter Cummings

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Please note: I read this book November 27, 2011 from a copy of the book I purchased for myself, as part of a group read. I'm just adding formatting.

My Synopsis: A sleepy, small island off the coast of South America – the perfect vacation spot for people all around the world. Police officers Ramos and Morales have the duty of keeping an eye on the market bazaar – there is never any problem there. The only crime on this island is involved with the drug trade, and the cartel keep their business out of the town, in the caves along the coast. Today is different, however – today Ramos and Morales get called to a domestic violence call at the Marina Star hotel, where they make a grisly discovery: a man has literally ripped his wife to pieces! While they try to process this, the man comes from farther in the room and attacks – biting Ramos in the process. While trying to deal with this, Morales hears reports of more attacks all over the hotel – and now he hears screams coming from the beach and surrounding areas. What is going on?

New Hampshire – Dr. Hawk is a respected neuropathologist. He is astounded to find two Marines on his doorstep one day, telling him he needs to come with them. His country needs him. He discovers that a strange disease is raging out of control on a South American island and the symptoms seem to be consistent with zombie behavior. Because Dr. Hawk once gave a joke lecture on the neuropathology of zombies to a group of students and interns, he is the expert in these matters. Can he figure out what is happening to these people, stop the progression of the disease, find the vector – can he stop the zombie apocalypse?

My Thoughts: Overall I liked the story a lot. It has a good pacing – intense action sequences slotted between the very interesting scientific aspects of the search for the cause of the disease. I think the story does a pretty good job of giving us a good idea of the unreality of the situation, and how people might actually react in these circumstances. At one point, for instance, I found myself thinking along the lines of wanting the characters in the book to just start shooting, but upon thinking about it, I believe most people – when faced with a situation like the one outlined at the moment – would have reacted just like the people in the book. It is NOT your typical zombie book; that is certain! It is possible that some readers might get bogged down in the scientific explanation and information, but I found it fascinating. I really liked the direction the writer went with on this one. My only complaint is about the editing – it is just awful, truly. I challenge anyone to name any given page in the book on which I would NOT be able to find some sort of editing error, be it misused words, misused apostrophes, missing words, extra words … It was bad enough to make me take off a star, and I try to be generous about these sorts of things nowadays. Other than that, for those who enjoy horror novels, novels about things that go bump in the night, and stories about zombies, I think you will find this one to your taste. I think we’ll be seeing Dr. Hawk again – I hope he’ll be examining the scientific basis of many more of our favorite monsters!

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