Review: Dead Mann Running (Hessius Mann #2) by Stefan Petrucha

October 5, 2012 Review 0 ★★★★


Dead Mann Running

(Hessius Mann, #2)
by Stefan Petrucha

Genre:Urban Fantasy |
Excerpt: Yes | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Publisher

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; September 4, 2012
  • ISBN-10: 0451464745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451464743

Rating

Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Sexual Content

References to sex and pedophilia, kissing.

Description

Just because a bullet has your name on it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t duck…

Either I’m stubborn, or it’s rigor mortis, but being dead didn’t stop me from being a detective or finding my wife’s killer. But it’s tough out there for a zombie, and lately it’s been getting tougher. These days the life-challenged have to register and take monthly tests to prove our emotional stability. See, if my kind gets too low, we go feral. I’ve been feeling a little down lately myself…

So when a severed arm—yeah, just the arm—leaves a mysterious briefcase at my office, my assistant, Misty, thinks figuring out where it came from will keep me on track. But this case goes deeper and darker than I imagined, and my imagination gets pretty dark. Turns out the people after it know more about my past life than I can remember, and even more about what I’ve become.

Review

Zombies fiction can be either too grim to stomach or too far from mythology to seem anything like the walking dead.  Petrucha’s Hessius Mann series manages to skirt that middle ground between immutable realism and fascinating possibility to create one of my favorite zombie series of all time.

This series is a departure from what I normally read, with the male protagonist, limited romance, and pretty grim reality of our hero’s life.  But I love the biological mechanics of the chakz, using bleach, super glue, and thread to hold themselves together, and Mann’s dogged detecting never fails to keep the story moving.  I love how the chakz have physiological issues long before “going feral” and munching on the living.  And I love how Petrucha mixes science, human nature, and social commentary to create a world that is endlessly fascinating.  DEAD MANN RUNNING changes Mann’s world in hopeful increments, without sacrificing the gritty reality that makes Petrucha’s world building so impressive.

And it is just that mix of hope and heartbreak that makes DEAD MANN RUNNING so powerful. While the mechanics of the plot once again got a little over the top by book’s end, the underlying emotion is undeniably powerful. Hessius Mann tugs at my heartstrings even as his world and the issue of quality of life after death fascinates me.  I’ll definitely be back for more.

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