I am really glad that someone else besides me has the same idea of how zombies should act. I have always been a person that doesn't mind fast moving zombies, but I also love the slower zombie that travel in hordes. However, I do appreciate it when I get a little of both in a book or movie, and that's what we get with the novella Dead Stay Dead written by Paul Jessup. I always thought it would make sense if fresher zombies could move quickly, while older zombies that are in a more advanced form of decomposition would obviously move slower. We shouldn't have to be restricted to only one type.
Dead Stay Dead takes place on a college campus which is experiencing the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. The story follows three main characters. The focus of the story is a girl named Natasha, or Tasha for short. Tasha has the ability to see ghosts, which is a very useful ability as the story progresses. We also follow her roommate Melissa who is mostly in the story to add comic relief. Shortly into the story, the girls come across a young man they simply call Lettuce Head. At first, the only thing on their mind is survival. However, when Tasha is visited by the ghost of a deceased student, survival is not their main objective, stopping the zombie outbreak is.
Dead Stay Dead is a lot of fun to read. The book has a lot of funny dialog. I am not one that typically likes humor mixed with my horror. I think the reason I usually don't like humor mixed in with horror is because a lot of horror relies on tension, and when that tension is relieved, you aren't left with much. I think Dead Stay Dead is more of a comedy than a zombie horror but there are enough elements of both to make it enjoyable. If I were to try to compare this to something a lot of people would relate to, I would say think of this book as Buffy the Vampire Slayer with zombies, not vampires. That's pretty high praise as far as I'm concerned.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate this novella a 6.5. It is a short book coming in at 82 pages, so it is a quick read, which is good for people that don't have a lot of time to sink into a book. It is also a good book for avid readers like me, since it could be a nice palette cleanser in between longer books.