Book Reviews

Book Review: Co-Exist: Rise of the Zombies

By Cyra King

Published August 2022

434 Pages

Horror is not a genre I read regularly.  Even though I enjoy the occasional Stephen King novel, I don’t go in for blood or gore, much less zombies.  I blame watching an incredibly gory b-list horror movie when I was eight for turning me off.  So, typically I steer clear.  That said, since the author is a fellow Scribophile member, I set my genre judgment aside and gave this novel a go.  I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to.

Here’s the blurb:  Megan is just trying to get through her shift as an ER nurse, dealing with an overwhelming influx of flu patients so she can get home to her boyfriend, Michael.  Before the night is over, she’ll realize that this “flu” is anything but a stomach bug, and she catches it.  But instead of causing vomiting, this pandemic turns its carriers into zombies.  Sentient zombies.  

A year into the end of the world, Megan is living in a Zombie community with other sentient zombies.  She’s part of a group of Zegans, zombies who refuse to eat human flesh.  But like many other communities, the power-hungry members rise to the top and they have it out for uninfected humans, calling for a coup that will put zombies on top of the food chain.  And zombies outnumber uninfected humans about a hundred to one.

“Co-Exist: Rise of the Zombies” interpreted by Wombo Dream

There’s a lot more going on in this story than my blurb covered.  A scientist is working on a cure, but the Army gets involved and blows that to hell.  Megan tries to thwart the zombie’s plans to kill off all of the humans, even as her human thoughts and emotions fade, leading her deeper into her zombie nature.  The conspiracies run deep in this novel and they continued to pop up as the story progressed, keeping me interested.

The pacing hummed along, never dragging and despite the length of the book, I finished it fairly quickly.  All in all, it was entertaining; although, there are a number of trigger warnings, including death, gore, child harm, and anything else you’d expect to see in a zombie novel.  Graphically, I’d say it was on par with The Walking Dead.

If you like the zombie genre, definitely give it a go.  Even if you aren’t a huge fan, consider this one.  The story is good and well plotted.  I’m curious to see what happens in Book 2.

Final rating:  3.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐+

Thank you to the author for providing the ARC ebook.

Until next time, thank you for visiting.

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