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Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel [Paperback]

Jonathan Maberry
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 25 2011 Dead of Night Series (Book 1)

A prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave.  But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects.  Before he could be buried, the killer wakes up.  Hungry.  Infected.  Contagious.  This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang…but a bite.

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Product Description


"This has to be one of the best traditional zombie tales I've ever read... This is a zombie book for the ages."
--Seattle Post Intelligencer
"Maberry grounds the story with scientific confidence, spares no attention to detail, and presents the undead as more than faceless targets."
--Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times bestseller and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Patient Zero, the Pine Deep Trilogy, The Wolfman, Zombie CSU and They Bite.  His work for Marvel Comics includes the Punisher, Wolverine, DoomWar, Marvel Zombie Return and Black Panther.  His Joe Ledger series has been optioned for TV by Sony Pictures.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid zombie tale Dec 8 2011
Dead of Night is an interesting zombie read.

If anyone has read Maberry's Zombie CSU, they will know exactly how this novel progresses. If you haven't read Zombie CSU yet, I suggest grabbing a copy - it's an interesting take on how organizations (like the CDC, police, military, etc) would try to contain and deal with a zombie apocalypse. Much of the data he presented in CSU was from interviews with first responders and such. Anyways, I digress...

Dead of Night starts out in a funeral home, where the corpse of an executed serial killer, Homer Gibbons, is being processed for burial. Unbeknownst to the mortician, Homer Gibbons was injected with a compound called Lucifer 113 by an insane prison doctor (and former defector from East Germany). Lucifer 113 is a bio-warfare weapon designed during the Cold War by Soviet Bloc scientists. He injected Gibbons because he wanted Gibbons to suffer a horrible fate - that of feeling his body slowly decompose in its grave over the next few months. Unfortunately, Lucifer 113 does not work as predicted and reanimates Gibbons in the midst of his embalming. Gibbons attacks the people at the funeral parlor (jokingly called a Transition Estate) and stumbles off into the darkness.

Police officers Dez Fox and J.T. respond to the 911 call and are attacked by the dead. Both officers are stunned by the actions of the infected and despite wanting to convince others of the horror, scarcely believe it themselves. To top it off, the state police called in for back-up seem to think Fox and J.T. have gone rogue and interfere with their efforts, which is further compounded by a paranoid political and military apparatus which feels that everyone in the county is already infected and therefore expendable (ala the movie Outbreak).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great paced zombie outbreak novel March 17 2012
By Dougie
My wife and I read every book that is Zombie (there aren't many we don't own).

Both enjoyed this book while on a beach vacation. It's fast paced and the outbreak gets going quick. Reminded me of the movie "The Crazies" in some respects.

Decent characters, source of infection is explained, usual government secrecy and cover up....nothing too original but well written. I've read 5 books by Maberry now, and I find his humorous dialogue often refreshing.

Would make a good screenplay for an action/zombie outbreak flick.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars Aug. 15 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another great Zombie novel with nonstop action. Can't wait until the sequel.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you want to waste some time! May 23 2013
By Old_Cat
I read all three and found the first one ok! However the writing skill and plot decreased as the story progressed in the next 2 books. I can only describe the books as juvenile at best. Definitely not for the adult market!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  189 reviews
99 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved it! EDITED TO ADD Sept. 21 2011
By Xina143 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I loved it... I just don't think there is much more to say! But I will anyways...

I have read most of Jonathan Maberry's books, and one thing I love about him is his ability to create images. When I read a book like this (let me clarify: when I read a GOOD book of this genre), I tend to see a 'movie' in my head. I often assign some actor to a particular character, and I see the action in my mind, which is what I like. Doing this helps me connect to the characters. It helps me form an attachment to what is going on in the book. Maberry is a master at doing this for me.

Desdemona Fox, Dez to her friends, is a mess. A beautiful gulf war vet turned rural cop. She is damaged, bitter and hard, but that doesn't stop Maberry from turning her into a likeable character that embraces her flaws. Her partner, JT, is your typical cop, or so we are led to believe. He is in his 40's, but his love (NOT that kind of love, but more a father to a young girl) for Dez, gives him another dimension. Billy Trout, respected reporter for the small town they live in, is Dez's on again, off again love interest.

What Maberry does here is create a plausible explanation for the zombies that are creeping up everywhere. I think that has been done in the past, and it is always overwrought, almost cheesy, but Maberry crafts a very believable explanation, and we are left wondering exactly who the monster is - those that created the 'virus' or the zombies themselves? The carnage in here is typical for this type of book-but there was nothing offensive or over the top. The isolation the characters must have felt and the idea that a town could be ruined while cut off from 'civilization (by a storm in this case) created a sense of dread that fit the atmosphere of this book perfectly.

The end actually brought me to tears, and I won't spoil it for you, but Maberry left it open for a sequel, and I HOPE he explores this further.

Great book! Can't recommend it enough!

EDITED TO ADD: Mr. Mayberry contacted me to thank me for this review. How cool is that? Made me giddy, but I do think that is why Mayberry crafts such relateable characters. He seems to really listen and care about his readers. I think by actually reading his reviews, and emails (I sent him one before and he answered that as well!) he knows what his fans want, and that shows in his books.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Detailed Zombie Outbreak Oct. 10 2011
By Ursula K. Raphael - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
First, let me say that these zombies made me want to vomit. They not only bite to spread infection, but they spew a black liquid filled with parasites. Absolutely revolting, but great horror!

Dead of Night is not like Patient Zero. It begins more as a mystery thriller, when the body of a convicted serial killer that goes missing after his execution, and two murder victims are left behind in the morgue. Before any action begins, readers are given a thorough description of all the main characters, which includes their relationships to one another, as well as their personalities. By the time the infected are roaming Stebbins, PA, you will feel like you are part of the small town. Most of the big action scenes didn't start until halfway through the book, so the set-up requires some patience, but it's worth it.

The book is divided into four parts, with each part beginning with a different section of The Hollow Men by TS Eliot. The very first chapter is told from the mind of an infected victim, expressing his personal hell as he is trapped in a body that he is no longer in control of, and he is forced to watch the atrocities that his vessel is committing. This left me wondering if all the infected were suffering the same way. Readers are given a scientific explanation eventually.

The POV continues to switch between characters, including a reporter named Billy Trout, and a police office named Dez Fox. One of the reasons that the infection is allowed to spread is the high level of denial, even among those who have witnessed the zombies firsthand. As Trout investigates the story of Homer Gibbon's missing corpse, he uncovers a government conspiracy, but Trout refuses to believe the horror behind the truth. Dez, Trout's ex-girlfriend, responds to the request for police at the morgue, and finds her world turned upside down, when one of the victims determined to be dead attacks her. She can't convince her fellow officers that the dead are attacking the living because she doesn't want to believe it herself.

Deliberate miscommunication is another reason that the outbreak grows out of control. The state police think the local police have gone crazy shooting innocent people, and the National Guard are led to believe that EVERYONE in the town is infected, so no one is allowed to leave the quarantine zone.

The ending left me wondering if there will be a sequel, but Dead of Night is just fine as a stand alone tale of how one infected person could destroy the world in time.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but sub-par for Maberry Dec 6 2011
By Eric Baker - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Maberry's since first reading Ghost Road Blues. After reading this story I'm still a fan, just a disappointed one. I enjoyed his take on the whole Zombie virus thing. A bit cliche with the German mad scientist, but okay, this isn't supposed to be the next War and Peace. However, I found the characters rather, well, characterless. Usually this is an area where he shines. I quickly tired of hearing about how DAMAGED the main character was and had little sympathy for her. The attempt at 'psychology' behind her 'issues' seemed almost an afterthought and did nothing to make her more likeable. On the other hand, the action and horror elements were decent once they got going and the ending had a nice twist.

In sum, worth a read if you can find it cheap, but not as good as his other books.

Those looking for well written zombie fiction should try Ben Tripp's 'Rise Again' and 'Tooth and Nail' by Craig Dilouie.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick Paced Zombie Thiller Nov. 4 2011
By Justin M. Rinaldi - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dead of Night is a very well paced, exciting Zombie Novel, with a very scientific and plausible explanation for the outbreak. The setting and atmosphere are perfect for this genre, wide open spaces of a rural county in Pennsylvania are made to feel claustrophobic by the excellent mood and tone set by the author. There is no set up or real background at the beginning of the book, which I appreciate. Maberry throws you right into the mix and doesn't let up.

Being somewhat new to the zombie genre, having read a handful of novels, it was nice to see a point of view from someone who has actually become a zombie, it added more dread to the ongoing events and made me feel for the people who have turned, instead of nameless brainless ghouls.

If there is one sticking point for me, its the time it takes the characters to identify the "dead people" are zombies. I understand the story is placed in a world where there has been no zombie movies, books, etc., which makes sense, because it adds to the overall arc of the story, but seeing as how we the reader are familiar with the zombie genre, I found myself screaming at them a little into the story, this is but a minor detail in an overall great read.

Authors probably hate this, but if you are looking for a comparison, the two books that come to mind would be a cross between World War Z and DaVinci Code. Obviously not the scale of WWZ but the pace and view points of different characters. Dan Brown / DaVinci code for the mystery / thriller aspect and pace. Those are intended to be compliments, if that makes it better. This is the first Maberry book I have read and I intend to check out others now.

Obviously there is blood and gore, but I never found it over the top, and seems to fit within the context of the book and it helps paint the picture of the destruction the "virus" is doing to the town. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is even slightly interested in the Zombie genre, I also believe it is just an overall good book, even if Zombies are of no interest to you.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful Zombie Story Nov. 7 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
I listened to the story on, and this story kept me listening every spare moment I had, even avoiding homework that I have to do (as soon as I finish this review, I will get going:). I couldn't wait for the main actions to start, and once it did, it was a steamroller.

Desdemona Fox (cop), J.T. (cop), and Billy Trout (reporter) are the three main protagonists. Des and Billy have a love-hate relationship. Des and J.T. have a figurative father-daughter relationship.

A mad, vengeful scientist injects the ultimate bad guy, Homer Gibbons (serial killer), with an engineered bioweapon. Homer is patient zero, and even if the good guys contain all the other zombies, what about him? Homer has more self-awareness and control than the regular zombies who are pretty much parasitic driven shells (with fleeting awareness but no self-control). The reason the zombies spread so fast is because people's understandable shock keeps them frozen a bit too long, and the zombies get their chance to bite or spray the people with the parasite laden blood/bodily fluids.

Maberry has issues of ethics regarding bioengineering, military response, and citizen action in regards to the catastrophe. The novel was well-written, and is heads and tails above most zombie novels. It was very exciting, and has a gut-wrenching ending.
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