It has been four years since the Resurrection split the United States into two nations: the eastern Safe States, overcrowded by 50 million refugees with not enough food, supplies, or jobs to go around, and the western Evacuated States, the silent wastelands of the living dead. It is here that Henry Marco, former neurologist and bounty hunter for hire, makes his living. Engaged by grief-stricken survivors, he hunts down living dead loved ones and puts them to rest--that is, he kills them. Marco is highly skilled at his job, so much so that Homeland Security wants him for a secret mission vital to the future of America. When he teams up with Kheng Wu, a Chinese secret agent disguised as an American soldier sent to back him up, he's in for the ride of his life through a world dominated by death. VERDICT Zito's debut is stunning, a harrowing, haunting, and beautifully written novel that belongs on the very top shelf of the zombie canon alongside Max Brooks's World War Z, Mira Grant's "Feed" series (Feed; Deadline), and the groundbreaking Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. [In June, Orbit will publish Blackout, Grant's concluding volume to her zombie trilogy.--Ed.]--Jeanne Bogino, New Lebanon Lib., NY[Page 73]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Zito's debut is thrilling, melancholy, and stomach-churningly gory. In the desolate heat and haunting emptiness of the zombie-infested American Southwest, ex-neurologist Henry Marco is hired by the living to "return" their undead loved ones, a euphemism for blowing their brains out. Marco also yearns to find and "return" his own wife. Hired by the Department of Homeland Security to track down a scientist who may have developed a cure, Marco embarks on a journey across the desert, encountering packs of shuffling, flesh-chewing zombies; sadistic gangs of bikers; and a Chinese assassin with whom he inadvertently teams up. Zito amps up the action with a nightmarish showdown in the bowels of an abandoned prison and viscerally unbearable descriptions of human mutilations. The zombies are pretty standard and Marco's philosophical ruminations are sometimes both redundant and expository, but taken as a whole, this is a sturdy and crowd-pleasing novel that squarely hits its target. (Apr.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC