The Complete Double Dead by Chuck Wendig

Complete double deadChuck Wendig is fast becoming one of those authors that I must read.  I’ve certainly not read all of his books but the ones I have read I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and The Complete Double Dead is no exception.

At the start of the tale we make the acquaintance of Coburn who has been lying entombed in a derelict building for close on five years.  He’s a little dried out to say the least until by some random occurrence he finds himself the lucky recipient of a good dose of blood.  Coburn is a vampire.  An egotistical, no nonsense, killing machine with super strength and the ability to self regenerate from just about any injury – short of losing his head of course.

Coburn was right at the top of the food chain until he was awoken by blood’s sweet kiss and found the zombie apocalypse shambling around outside.  His walking snacks have turned into walking maggot farms and his miraculous revival turns out to be rather ill timed.

Instead of preying on unsuspecting victims by night Coburn instead finds himself shepherding a bunch of humans across the country.  He has to keep his food source alive and so, firstly, he must learn to snack rather than guzzle and, secondly, he and his sheep must make it to the other side of the country where a cure to the zombie disease is rumoured to be a possibility.  So, Coburn and his crew set off.  The route is going to be tough, on top of cannibals, would be military establishments and fanatical religious cults he’s going to need to keep his wits about him to survive his own pack of humans and if that isn’t enough it seems there’s a whole new ‘super’ zombie stalking Coburn.

To be fair, I don’t suppose The Complete Double Dead brings anything startlingly new to either the zombie or vampire legends, and perhaps that’s why I like it – it feels like something old and familiar.  Coburn seeks blood, he hides from the sun and he has the ability to ‘persuade’ his victims to behave.  The zombies – well, they pretty much want to eat living flesh and they don’t care what extremes they have to go to in order to do so.  What I found really original was the twist in the tale that turned the predator into the prey.  A little twist that almost brought Coburn to an unlikely end due to his over confidence in his vampire acquired abilities and the fact that he’s never been on the receiving end of a threat before.

On top of this, well, we have Chuck Wendig’s unique style of writing.  Here we have a book with horror, blood, guts, drama and action.  It has the potential to become too brutal, too horrific and too much to swallow but instead Wendig manages to inject humour in the places you least expect.  He turns Coburn into an almost redeemable character (although not completely) and he makes this a gripping read right to the end.  There are a number of twists, particularly in relation to one of the characters who seems to bring out the best in Coburn and there are some spectacular scenes of outrageous bloodiness – really, I can’t even go there.

Now, for information, I understand that this book is a combination of two novels – Double Dead and Bad Blood.  Also, this is a bloody and sometimes violent book.  Wendig pulls no punches so if this doesn’t work for you then step away now!

I really enjoyed The Complete Double Dead.  If you’re looking for a little horror, a swathe of zombies, the odd grisly blood bath, some moments of genuine humour and a hero where you didn’t expect then this could be the book you’re waiting for.

I received a copy courtesy of the publisher through Netgalley for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

18 Responses to “The Complete Double Dead by Chuck Wendig”

  1. lipsyy

    ‘Old and familiar’ books are sometimes just what you need! I’ve never read this guy, sounds good though.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I really like Chuck Wendig – he’s a bit brutal but he also has a wicked sense of humour.
      Lynn 😀

      • lipsyy

        Brutal with a wicked sense of humour sounds good 😉

      • @lynnsbooks

        I actually really do like Chuck Wendig – his Miriam Black books are great and I love that series. Very dark but so entertaining. I imagine some people would find his writing a little bit too brutal but I like it.
        Lynn 😀

  2. jenclair

    I wouldn’t be likely to read this based on the cover, but your review really caught my interest. I like the irony of a vampire having an untimely awakening to find his food source transformed into zombies and then shepherding surviving humans to safety. But…I don’t know about the bloody violence you warn about.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, the cover didn’t really do it for me but I like this author. Well, I’ve put something in there about blood and violence but I guess that’s to clue people in who don’t really read this genre. If you’re used to vampire and zombie stories then this probably won’t me too much different although Chuck Wendig is very brutal with his writing – he’s also incredibly humorous and without that I think his books would be too much. As it is they’re just incredibly entertaining.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I am always up for some Chuck Wendig, but somehow I’ve skipped over this series. Not sure how I would feel it, to be honest! I do love horror, though I prefer psychological thrillers/creepy supernatural over straight up blood and guts. That’s why zombie books can be hit or miss. Especially with Wendig, I already know from his Miriam Black books that he can write brutal violence, and I can see it being even more over the top here! Maybe I’ll be in the mood for it one day 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      He certainly can write brutal violence – I actually like his style because he also manages to inject a lot of sarcastic humour but I can imagine some people not enjoying it in terms of the ick factor.
      Lynn 😀

  4. proxyfish

    What a beautiful and delightful cover. I think I actually jumped when I saw that!! I am quite intrigued by this series though.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I actually wasn’t totally drawn by the cover tbh – it was the author that drew me to this one – that cover is totally violent looking and over the top with bloodiness! Probably a bit fitting given the content I suppose though!
      Lynn 😀

      • proxyfish

        Hehe it is rather disturbing. I definitely want to read some Chuck Wendig though!

      • @lynnsbooks

        You should definitely read his Miriam Black books – they are so good. This is great if you’re in the mood for vampires and zombies. Miriam is a woman who having been involved in an accident momentarily died. Afterwards she can tell exactly when somebody will die just by touching them. It’s a really good series, very dark and haunting but Miriam is a great character.
        Lynn 😀

  5. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Did you read Zer0es? I loved his Miriam Black books, but Zer0es did not work for me at all. I’m a little hesitant about this one until someone can assure me it won’t go as weird as Zeroes. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      I also love Miriam Black – I haven’t read Zeroes – I did see a few kind of negative reviews and for some reason it hadn’t really appealed to me. I loved Atlanta Burns – it’s very harsh though. Complete Double Dead is really good – well, if you want this horror combination of course.
      Lynn 😀

  6. February: My Month in Review | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Complete Double Dead by Chuck Wendig […]

  7. Anastasia

    This seems awesome! I’ve been missing good zombie stories! 😀
    ” horror, blood, guts, drama and action” is exactly what I need right now

    • @lynnsbooks

      This was really good in that respect. Totally entertaining and definitely horror, blood and guts.
      Lynn 😀

  8. “But, oh, Mina, I love him; I love him; I love him!” #Spooktasticreads #Vampires | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Complete Double Dead by Chuck Wendig.  Another unflinching book.  The central character, Coburn, is a vampire.  He’s been having something of a long sleep (not self induced) and when he awakens it seems like most of the population (and his food source) have turned full on zombie.   This is a fast paced, blood soaked ride. […]

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