Remains of the Dead by Iain McKinnon is one hell of a sequel to Domain of the Dead, but can easily function as a stand-alone. Technically, the two books are just different perspectives of the same timeline. In both, a helicopter full of soldiers is sent out from a military ship to bring back zombie specimens for the scientists to study. While the first book centers on the survivors who return to the ship, Remains of the Dead follows the soldiers and survivors who are left behind due to a lack of space on the chopper.
ROTD opens with a cleverly selected passage from the Epic of Gilgamesh, and a foreword by Joe McKinney (author of the Dead World series). Usually I just skim through the intros, but McKinney’s foreword is meant to be savored; it’s one of the most eloquent and riveting introductions that I’ve ever read…I couldn’t wait to dig into McKinnon’s undead, and I tore through the pages in one sitting.
The title is quite appropriate given that the story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where mankind barely exists — entire cities are populated by the walking dead. A group of mixed military discover a group of unexpected survivors, so they weren’t prepared to take the extra passengers back to the ship. Cahz and Cannon are two soldiers that opt to stay behind with three of the survivors: Ryan, Ryan’s infant daughter (not yet named), and Elspeth (the infant’s grandmother). There is also another survivor named Ali, separated earlier on from the group that reached the chopper, so Ali doesn’t really know what the sitrep is. The POV switches between Cahz’s group and Ali. Supposedly they only have to stay alive for eight hours until the chopper returns, but that plan goes completely FUBAR.
Iain McKinnon will have you convinced that you were just dropped off in the middle of a zombie horde, clutching your book until your knuckles turn white…another fantastic story published by Permuted Press.