When Flex Sheridan makes a call to his sister Jamie he realizes something has gone terribly awry. Blood curdling screams ignite his instinctual need to flee for Florida to check on his sibling, his brother-in-law Jack and two nieces, Jesse and Trina. En route, one ominous indication after another unveils itself before him that the world has succumbed to some sort of infection. Will Flex have the stuff to rise above all the odds and deliver his family to safety or will he ultimately find his demise and writhe in eternal Dead Hunger?
Shelman’s Dead Hunger is a first person perspective told through the eyes of Flex Sheridan, aptly subtitled The Flex Sheridan Chronicles. It’s a wonderful expedition of post-apocalyptic genre that is undeniably very popular today in creeper entertainment. Whether its cinema, magazines, contemporary music, television or of course in this case novel literature, the author has honed in on a tried and true phenomenon with a unique twist.
The first person point of view evokes a great deal of conflicting emotions making each of the characters as they’re introduced immensely likeable and realistic. The author’s protagonists could just as easily be your bowling buddy, neighbor, best friend, sister, brother or anyone close in your life. The varying personalities of Gem Cardoza, Hemphill Chatsworth, Charlie Sanders engage the reader, fixating their attention spans and entertainment level, certifying Dead Hunger as one hell of an infectious, addictive thrill ride.
Shelman has been noted for conceiving characters based upon friends and loved ones in his personal life which makes the protagonists more realistic and translate well unto the audience. We find ourselves rooting for Flex and his unlikely band of heroes in a world gone sour. The abnormal are direct symbols of our own personal tragedies, defeat, disappointment and despair. We as the readers peel back the psychological layers and for a short time forget all about our own personal day to day woes. The peril found within the pages of Dead Hunger is our ultimate escape, our one chance to get it just right and survive whatever adversity may be thrown at us.
The dialogue can be a welcome humorous distraction. It eases up on the conflict and tension, letting down the readership’s guard before the next onslaught of unrelenting terror strikes from what lies beyond. Some of the verbal exchanges can be a little on the crude side and may be somewhat dependent upon vulgarity for sheer shock value. On one hand some readers may be offended by the pre-adolescent cursing and swearing. Then again it is an indication of a brave new world where suddenly the rules have changed as drastically as the elements around them. All bets are off as the very need for survival certainly supersedes the occasional bout of potty mouth.
The blood, gore and violence will keep fans of pulse hammering action exhilarated for more. As each bout of the reanimated is over come, we cringe in titillated revulsion, rapidly tearing through page after page to see what happens next.
The underlining themes of hope versus despair and sentiment versus remorse makes Dead Hunger a highly admirable, fictitious anecdote. Whether you’re an avid zombie fan or simply enjoy a well told tale, Dead Hunger is highly recommended. Something tells me you’ll be back for more.