Voyage of the Dead is the first book of the Sovereign Spirit Saga detailing the adventures of several groups of survivors of the Zombie Apocalypse. Most of them are aboard a ship that is well equipped to survive the end of civilization, while others struggle to survive in a world suddenly overrun by undead cannibals. This is a science fiction adventure set within a horror genre, full of blood, guts, violence and the human emotions that fuel our survival instincts.
Scott is the guy you want to be friends with if the zombie apocalypse comes. Having won the lottery, he bought himself a huge cruise ship and fitted it out with every gadget you could ever want including guns, supplies, communications, small boats, helicopter and mini submarine. Scott indicates in the book he he bought all those boy toys that any guy could imagine. So he has just treated his friends and family to a cruise on what sounds like the most amazing ship ever, when the apocalypse begins. Like I said, you want to be his friend and be on the ship, safe offshore as all hell breaks loose.
The other MC is Carl, a normal guy with no gadgets who is at the airport when hell breaks loose and has to rely on himself to escape and find somewhere safe to hole up. I liked the complete contrast between our two heroes. One is equipped for every possible mission while the other, frankly, is flying by the seat of his pants and trying to come up with a plan to stay alive. It is also a clever way to remove the need for boring parts where the ship might be sailing for hours with nothing happening. This way, we leave Scott when the action ends, follow Carl in danger, and back to Scott for his next adventure. Clever and entertaining.
The action is pretty much non-stop, which I love in my zombie books. There are rescue missions made by those on the boat, trying to save their families who are trapped on land. There are the adventures of Carl and others stuck on land who need to get creative to stay alive. There action scenes are tense, well described and you can easily see in your head what the author is describing to you. I engaged fully with the characters and plot and had a fun time with this book.
A few things have been mentioned by other reviewers that I want to comment on. Yes it is rather convenient that Scott has everything he needs for every situation, but to be honest, that doesn't bother me as long as the action created by his toys is exciting. And it was. I noticed that a lot of people don't seem to like Scott but I did. I saw him as a guy determined to keep everyone on the boat safe and to do that, he had to ensure the military did not get his ship. I get that and I liked his stubborness.
I do agree about the role of women in the book, especially George having sex with a female survivor who was so grateful to be rescued that she offers sex and turned fatal attraction when he bleats about loving his wife. They of course have to have the woman like a slut and then turning psycho so George is the victim. This incident put me off George, who I had liked. You are away from your wife a short period of time to rescue the grandkids and you just have sex with a strange woman? Didn't like that bit at all. It just felt as if it was decided that there needed to be sex somewhere in the book and it was just shoved there.
However, overall I really enjoyed the book and there was plenty action for the zombie fan to enjoy. I read this as a free e-book then bought the paperbacks for this and book two, which I hope to read soon. I also hope it doesn't take me a whole year to review the next one, like this book...!