Title: Generation Dead
Author: Daniel Waters
Series: Generation Dead #1
Publication Date: May 6, 2008
I was initially drawn to Generation Dead by Daniel Waters because it is a novel about zombies and who doesn’t love a good old fashioned zombie novel? I mean, zombies are the dead come back to life. Creatures that were once human that are now rotting and want to eat our brains. Not much can go wrong when you go with a story about zombies.
However, this is not a story about your typical zombies. These zombies are more human than not. In Generation Dead the zombies are not eating humans and they are not really rotting either. Actually, some of them can almost pass as still being alive. They talk, dance, joke, go to school and in some cases even play sports.
Generation Dead is a book about the undead trying to find their way in the world. The zombies are all teenagers. For reasons yet to be discovered only those in a certain age bracket come back from the dead. Thus, being the teenagers that they are, they are sent to school to complete their high school educations.
Not everyone is happy about the undead trying to find their place in society. They do not want to see them go to school, get jobs, hanging out at the mall, or even walking down the street. Also, there are no laws about killing a zombie. It is definitely a hard time to be one of the walking dead.
Our main living character is Phoebe. Phoebe is a goth girl fascinated with zombies and their plight. She recruits a few living friends to partake in a special class for the living and the dead to comingle and get to know each other. She also becomes very close to our main zombie character Tommy Williams.
Tommy is a dead boy who wants to help those like him fit into society. While he finds some that share his hopes and dreams for the undead, he finds many more (both living and dead) that are opposed to it. He actually joins the football team and writes an online blog in support of the zombie plight for equality.
All in all, I thought that Generation Dead was okay. I didn’t think it was anything super special, but it wasn’t bad either. You could easily substitute the zombies for any class/race of people and be able to apply it to reality. This could actually make for some very interesting book club or classroom discussions.
I do wish that the characters didn’t feel so one dimensional. I wanted to feel more from them than I got to. I understand that from the zombies, but I wanted more life from the living (pun intended).