John Slaughter is an outlaw biker, one of The Devil’s Disciples. He is traveling to the Deadlands, the area West of the Mississippi River. The country is in a shambles, and the dead walk among its citizens. Bioengineered “corpse worms” have been unleashed on the world through “worm rains,” and they turn the living into the walking dead. But these zombies aren’t “normal” zombies – they area cognizant and can brandish weapons. They can carry out revenge.
Slaughter is captured by the Army and blackmailed into traveling to an old NORAD base to rescue a bioengineer who can help get rid of the virus. He must return her safely to her destination if he wants his brother released from prison instead of given the death penalty.
They reunite him with his incarcerated fellow bikers and equip him with weapons and an outfitted school bus. They head West, running into “worm boys,” militia group Red Hand and other evil beings. Slaughter also runs into a mystical being who brings more death and destruction to the country and is interested in Slaughter‘s talent for murder and mayhem. They finally make it to the NORAD base, only to be confronted by the Cannibal Corpses – an undead biker gang and bitter enemies of The Devil’s Disciples.
Cannibal Corpse is different from the usual zombie stories that are overrunning the genre lately. Not only are they aware of what they are, they are able to talk and some are pissed about their situations. Some of them know things. And they can fight back with weapons as well as their teeth. I enjoyed that aspect; it was interesting having the zombies actually interact with the humans.
There were many horrific scenes throughout the story, and Curran described them in loving, disgusting detail. Worm people, mutants, and other monstrosities have taken over the Deadlands, and nobody living is safe.
I wasn’t as interested in the mythical aspect of the story, though. I thought it took away from the human aspect of the zombie genre that I like. I did enjoy the camaraderie among Slaughter and his fellow bikers; although Slaughter is a cold-blooded killer, he did have redeeming qualities that made him a great character.
However, even though I didn’t care for the mystical sections of the story, the book was overall a great read. I don’t know if this is intended to be a series, but it could be a great series if continued. Curran’s post-apocalyptic world would be interesting to explore further.
If you’re looking forward to the zombie apocalypse, this is the book for you.