Review: Dead Mann Walking

Posted November 7, 2011 by Jen in 3.5 stars, Rating B, Reviews, Urban Fantasy Tags: , , ,

Dead Mann Walking
Author: Stefan Petrucha 
Release Date: Oct 4, 2011
Publisher: Roc
Hessius Mann Novel #1
ISBN: #978-0451464217
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (342 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
After Hessius Mann was convicted of his wife’s murder, suppressed evidence came to light and the verdict was overturned — too bad he was already executed.
Thanks to the miracles of modern science Hessius was brought back to life. Sort of. Now that he’s joined the ranks of Fort Hammer’s pulse-challenged population, Hessius attempts to make a “living” as a private investigator.
But when a missing persons case leads to a few zombies cut to pieces, Hessius starts thinking that someone’s giving him the run-around — and it’s not like he’s in any condition to make a quick getaway… 
What G & U are talking about:
Dead Mann Walking is a debut novel in a new series about Hessius Mann, a zombie detective.  It is not the typical urban fantasy that Gikany and Una read, but we found it quite interesting.  This new Hessius Mann series may be something to pick up and keep an eye on.
The novel begins with Hessius, our main character, fussing over an article about pieces of a zombie that were found in the desert.  From this point the story begins to flow and unfold into an engrossing mystery/detective drama.  Despite being somewhat simple, there are many fascinating twists to this tale that we did not see coming.  
One of the reasons we enjoyed the novel was the main character himself, Hessius.  He, too, is a chak, a more derogatory term for a zombie.  He died (well, was executed) and due to the wonders of medical breakthroughs and science, was brought back to life.  Hessius would argue that it is not quite life, more like a new existence.  Hessius is not the macho, courageous hero; he has faults.  One of the greatest aspects of him is that he is, usually, aware of his faults and does his best to fight against them.  But he is not free from weakness either and following along with him while he struggles is really enthralling.  His complexity allows him to be truly grounded and gives him a realism that comes alive on the page.
The mythology developed in Dead Mann Walking is very intriguing as well.  It is not the stereotypical zombie novel.  However, we haven’t read many novels where zombies were the focal point (they are usually tools of some other paranormal entity).  But we found the mythology fresh (even if the zombies are not) and fascinating.  What is really interesting is that for being about animated dead bodies, it really is not gratuitously graphic or nasty.  Any discussion of decomposition is straightforward and clinically done – when necessary.  Those with a weak stomach should have no issues with reading this novel.   
Between the detective drama and the on-going political and racial issues between chakz and Live Bloods, there is much going on in this world to keep you gripped to the page.  However, with the way the novel ends, we wonder where the series will go from here.  One thing is for sure, Dead Mann Walking is a great new novel and we look forward to the next one in this series.
Their Rating:
Liked it a lot – recommend (B+)

Purchase Info:

3 responses to “Review: Dead Mann Walking

  1. Una

    It was something different that Gikany and I thought we’d try. We really did enjoy it and it was so different from anything we’ve read before. Hope you enjoy!

  2. Great review ladies. This series does sound very interesting. I love the cover too. I put it on my TBR list and I’m interested to see how the next book in the series pans out and how people react to it.