Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Play Dead: Zombies & Unexpected Heroes

Play Dead
Author: Ryan Brown
Hardcover: 344 pages
Publisher: Gallery
First Edition edition (May 4, 2010)
Available from Amazon

Summary: For the first time in Killington High School history, the Jackrabbits football team is one win away from the district championship where it will face its most vicious rival, the Elmwood Heights Badgers. On the way to the game, the Jackrabbits’s bus plunges into a river, killing every player except for bad-boy quarterback Cole Logan who is certain the crash was no accident—given that Cole himself was severely injured in a brutal attack by three ski-masked men earlier that day. Bent on payback, Cole turns to a mysterious fan skilled in black magic to resurrect his teammates.

I received Play Dead as part of the book tour and contest I'm hosting today. Zombies. People either love 'em or hate 'em, depending on the book or movie. I like my zombies with a good dose of humor and suspense. Anyone can write about the undead munching on humans, but it's the creative minds that add a bit more to the mix. Ryan Brown had an idea, and he ran with it, much like a quarterback runs with his beloved football. Play Dead takes the hardcore high school football players, fans, and boosters and poses the question: What will some people do to WIN?

Simon & Schuster quotes Ryan Brown as saying:
"I considered what type of 'monsters' could actually be competitive against the most juiced-up football team I could imagine? Why, zombies of course. I really got excited about the idea of a zombie football team being the good guys...the team to cheer for."

I love that the author starts out with competitive craziness and pranks that go wrong, moves on to the black humor of zombies, then builds to the suspense and horror of a town in danger. I loved the humor, but also appreciated the author making us think about competition and doing anything for the big win. How far is too far?

Mr. Brown threw in some high school romance, teenage angst, abusive parenting, irony and a lesson about "playing God" in our own and other's lives, which made Play Dead much more than a typical zombie story. He attended high school in Texas, which I think really comes through in the book as he describes the town and it's residents in this book.

I really enjoyed Play Dead and would recommend it to fans of Dean Koontz and Stephen King. It's a faced paced thriller with shades of horror. Though the plot involves high school teenagers, the book is pretty gritty, including the language. I would let a mature 16 or 17 year old read the book. They've heard it all at that point in their life as far as language.

The publisher has graciously allowed me to give away one hardbound copy of Play Dead. As usual, I'll ask a question, and you use your comment to answer the question as your entry. Leave your email if it's not in your profile or blog link. I will pick a random winner on June 1st, 2010 and post it on the blog.

Question: Do you have a favorite zombie book or movie? What is it, or why don't you have one?

Zombieland is my favorite movie because I really need humor to offset the grossness of zombies. They are truly gross!




Mary Ann DeBorde said...

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

My absolutely all-time favorite zombie book is The Forest of Hands & Teeth!!!! Wow, it was great, and I just finished The Dead Tossed Waves a few days ago (not quite as good, but still head and shoulders above the crowd lol).

As for zombie movies (and lucky you, I've been eager to see ZombieLand!) - probably 28 Days, although 28 Weeks was a little too gruesome for my taste ... brrr

I am a follower and thank you so much for the chance to win :)

Sullivan McPig said...

not sure if this is international,but I'll answer anyway as I love zombies!

My favourite zombie book sofar is 'Soulless' by Christopher Golden. I love my zombie books to have some zombie mayhem and there's plenty of it in this book, but it also has a great psychological story to with the mayhe.

My favourite zombie movie is 'Shaun of the Dead'. it's a great and funny zombie movie with some really great actors.

Linda Henderson said...

I've never read a zombie book or watched a zombie movie. I read paranormal but I haven't tried zombies yet. I'm very interested in reading this book.

seriousreader at live dot com

Misusedinnocence said...

I've never read a Zombie Book before but I really liked the movie Sean of the Dead. :)


Lisa R said...

My all time favorite zombie movie--"Return of the Night of the Living Dead". Absolutely hilarious. My favorite line- "You mean they lied?!"
when failing to kill a zombie by cutting off it's head.

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

booklover0226 said...

I don't have a favorite zombie book because I've never read one! I think it's time for me to start looking for and buying them!

I do like George Romero's Night of the Living Dead movies, though.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I haven't read a zombie book before, I have been too hung up on vampires and shapeshifters to read them. Now is the time to broaden my horizon!
I'm a follower.