Book Review of Dead Tropics
Published by Permuted Press at Smashwords.
Copyright 2011, 2012 Sue Dillicar.
Cover art by Conzpiracy Digital Arts
"In the midst of a catastrophe the world has never seen before, one woman will stop at nothing to protect her family...
When miners release an ancient and deadly virus, Lori, a nurse, finds herself at ground zero of a deadly battle for survival. With time running out, can she find the strength to fight an ever-increasing enemy and save her family?"
Sue was born in Malaysia to French and British colonialists, had a very exciting childhood in the jungles of Borneo, the Australian outback and tropical Queensland, and is the proud mother of three children.
She manages to steal the time to write by ignoring the state of her house and pretending that the kids can look after themselves.
Sue Edge online:
"Time to go," Mike stated. I nodded, following him to the back door. Michele grabbed my arm, eyes sharp with concern.
"Please be careful, Mum."
"Don't worry, honey. See, I'm armed to the teeth." I patted my weapons reassuringly. "Anyway, if I have to, I'll throw Mike in the zombies' way to save myself."
My daughter rolled her eyes but smiled, reassured, anyway.
"Nice," Mike muttered as he opened the back door. "I'll be sure to watch my back."
I grinned at him. "It'd only be as a last resort, Mike!"
We made it through the forest and across the road at the bottom of the hill without detection, then we slipped down to the riverbank and made our way through the tree line to the back of Jodie's house. The backyard seemed clear so we ran across and pressed ourselves against the back wall.
"We're going to have to be quick," Mike said. "Once they realize there aren't any people in the Bransons' house, the zombies will be heading back here."
I nodded and peered through the broken back window. It was one of the girls’ bedrooms and looked like a train wreck.
The girl's incoherent cries were much clearer now. I tracked it to the garage. Great. With the roller doors down, the only way to get to the garage was through the house. From the look in Mike's eyes, I knew he had realized the same thing. Cautiously and as quietly as I could, I climbed over the windowsill into the bedroom. It was likely that some zombies had stayed behind to find the source of the cries.
Once Mike was inside, we walked as lightly as we could through the corridor. Mike braced an arm across my chest abruptly. Catching my eye, he pointed at the room on the left. A quick glance revealed a zombie standing in the middle of the room, staring through the window. We slipped past the open door with all the stealth we could muster.
We found the garage door next to the kitchen. At least we assumed it was the garage door as a zombie was banging its hands against it, futilely. Pulling out a thin knife, Mike slipped up behind the creature and pinned it against the door. Before it could emit a sound, he efficiently plunged the knife through its eye. Immediately, its body slumped down, allowing Mike to lower the body to the floor.
The door was bolted and made of heavy wood, which explained why the zombies hadn't broken through. As gently as possible, Mike slipped the bolt. Indicating to me to step back, he pulled the door open a fraction. Immediately, the volume of the cries jumped through the roof. We met each other's eyes, and by mutual agreement, leapt into the garage, slamming the door behind us.
"Who's there? Is someone there? Please help me!" a quavering young voice called out. I hurried forward, trying to locate the voice amidst the car, boxes, and tools.
"It's Lori Nelson. Is that you, Skye? Where are you?"
A deathly moan stopped me in my tracks. There was a zombie in the garage with us. Mike tensed beside me, passing the knife into his left hand and pulling around his rifle.
"Please hurry!” The voice shook with desperation. "I can't hold on much longer. I'm over here in front of the car."
I edged cautiously around the car, parang at the ready, and saw the child. And her mother. Jodie snarled and clawed at her daughter as the fourteen year old kept her mother pinned against the garage wall with a portable workbench.
At the end of the book the authors asks that the readers pass on the infection, which I gladly do now. Generally I find zombie books fall into the “B movie” category of books, however every once in a while you find a book like “Dead Tropics” that elevates the genre to a new level. While this is a “zombie” outbreak book, the main point of the story is family and how that definition changes or strengthens with adversity.
Lori, the main character, is a typical suburban mom with a teen and toddler twins. She recently lost her husband to cancer and is struggling to just stay afloat. She is mild mannered, soft spoken and kind…initially. Eventually she exhibits strength of character that others have always seen, but she didn’t really know she had
This book is well written and convincingly shows how a mother is willing to do anything to protect her children, even things she would never have thought she would. My husband and I have joked about this type of thing before: I always say I would jump in front of a car for him, but I would probably hesitate and think a moment first; but I wouldn’t have to think at all if it was one of my kids.
I was impressed with the author’s ability to put a compassionate and humane face on the stark tragedy while still maintaining the fantasy vibe of the story. It was funny, passionate, romantic, sad, and life affirming. I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds.
This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.