Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Where The Dead Go To Die by Aaron Dries & Mark Allan Gunnells [5 stars]

From the Description
There are monsters in this world. And they used to be us. Now it's time to euthanize to survive in a hospice where Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible.

Post-infection Chicago. Christmas.

Inside The Hospice, Emily and her fellow nurses do their rounds. Here, men and women live out their final days in comfort, segregated from society, and are then humanely terminated before fate turns them into marrow-craving monsters known as ‘Smilers.’ Outside these imposing walls, rabid protesters swarm with signs, caught up in the heat of their hatred.

Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible. But in a world where mortality means nothing, where guns are drawn in fear and nobody seems safe anymore – at what cost will this pursuit come? And through it all, the soon to be dead remain silent, ever smiling. Such is their curse. 

This emotional, political novel comes from two of horror’s freshest voices, and puts a new spin on an eternal topic: the undead. In the spirit of George A Romero meets Jack Ketchum, Where the Dead Go to Die it is an unforgettable epilogue to the zombie genre, one that will leave you shaken and questioning right from wrong…even when it’s the only right left.

It won't be long before that snow-speckled ground will be salted by blood.
Publication Date: November 28, 2016
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Publication Length: 197 pages
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novella. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.

Let's face it,,, the horror genre is glutted with zombie stories. Some good, some not so good but there is a ton of them. But every great once in awhile I'm lucky enough to come across something special. Books like The Awakening by Brett McBean or Cadaver Dog by Doug Goodman that bring something new to the table. Something fabulous. That's what I found in the pages of Where The Dead Go To Die. This novella touched my heart with the humanity it gave the 'Smilers' and ultimately broke it with mankinds intolerance and cruelty. All of the characters found here will sink their teeth into your heart. From Emily, a single mother trying to provide the best life she can for her daughter, and a hospice nurse trying to give those in their last days a measure of comfort, to the Crowners, who do a job that no-one else will. This is not an easy story to read but you'll be glad you did. I highly recommend this phenomenal 5 star read.
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About the Authors
Aaron Dries

Author, illustrator, and filmmaker Aaron Dries was born and raised in New South Wales, Australia. When asked why he writes horror, his standard reply is that when it comes to scaring people, writing pays slightly better than jumping out from behind doors. He is the author of the award-winning novel House of Sighs, and his subsequent books, The Fallen Boys and A Place for Sinners are just as--if not more--twisted than his debut. ChiZine Publications, Samhain Horror, Crystal Lake Publishing, Scarlet Galleon Press, and a number of international magazines and online venues have published his fiction and art over the years. As a filmmaker, Dries’ short films have garnered awards in Australia, the UK, and the USA, and he is currently hard at work on multiple feature screenplays as well as novels. Feel free to drop him a line at or contact him through Twitter, Facebook, and GoodReads. He won't bite. Much.
Mark Allan Gunnells 
Mark Allan Gunnells loves to tell stories. He has since he was a kid, penning one-page tales that were Twilight Zone knockoffs. He likes to think he has gotten a little better since then. He loves reader feedback, and above all he loves telling stories. He lives in Greer, SC, with his husband Craig A. Metcalf, and blogs at or contact him through Twitter, Facebook, and GoodReads.

"Where the Dead Go toDie is a chilling, post-modern reimagining in thezombie canon . . . you don't want to come back as a Bone Eater!" - John Palisano, author of Dust of theDead, Bram Stoker ® award-winner

"Where the Dead Go to Die is the kind of zombie tale horror fansand horror writers always hope for - something original. Aaron Dries andMark Allan Gunnells have taken the worn-out tropes and turned them inside out." - JG Faherty, Thriller- and Bram Stoker-nominatedauthor of The Cure, The Burning Time,and Ghosts of Coronado Bay.

"Two authors, both with a strong talent forcharacters and emotion. They take a familiar lump of clay-Zombies and what theypummel and prod and pull and mold turns out to be a story that is anything buthackneyed. It is a story of survival and loss. About grieving and striving. Itis honest and painful and scary. It reeks of carrion, like we all do." - John Boden, author of JEDI SUMMER and DOMINOES.

"WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE is one of the bestbooks I've ever read--and this is coming from a jaded horror fan who tends toavoid books about the 'Z' word like the plague (if you'll pardon theexpression)! Dries and Gunnells have written a timely tale of the living deadthat is not only horrifying, but heartbreaking on so many levels. If thisone doesn't leave you in tears, you must be among the infected already. Bringon the Crowners . . . ." - James Newman (author of ODD MANOUT, ANIMOSITY, and UGLY AS SIN)

"Just when you thought the undead had been bled dry, Dries and Gunnellshave created an original, compelling novel that breathes new life into the genre once again. Highly recommended." - PatrickLacey, author of DREAM WOODS and SLEEP PARALYSIS