The Horror Zine Review
The Way of All Flesh
by Tim Waggoner
|Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (April 1, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
The Way of All Flesh
by Tim Waggoner
Review by Jeani Rector
I read a lot of zombie fiction, and I thought everything has been done; nothing fresh and original could possibly be written anymore. Then I received Tim Waggoner’s novel titled The Way of All Flesh, and thought WOW! Imagine looking at zombies through the perspective of zombies.
This book begins with a compelling mystery. David is walking down Main Street with Simon, wondering if he is dreaming. Everything is altered, yet he seems to accept it. The reader is drawn to David; Waggoner’s character is likeable and sympathetic. You wonder who David really is, and what Simon really is.
Some answers come soon from David’s fraternal twin sister, Kate. A plague called Blacktide has swept the world, and three-quarters of the world’s population dies, some sort of die, and the remaining few are immune. David is a zombie…but not your everyday zombie. He still thinks (albeit sometimes slowly) and feels some emotions, which is why he desperately searches for his children. He believes that living humans are demons and some of the humans prove him right.
Everyone knows that sociopaths exist in human beings; always have throughout time. But what if one of the sociopaths is a surviving human in a zombie apocalypse? Nicholas is a human who was a serial killer in his past. The reader wonders when Nicholas will stop amusing himself with zombie target practice and start aiming his gun at the living. Waggoner delivers some of the most thorough and interesting character developments I have ever read on both sides of the conflict.
Despite a world-wide apocalypse, The Way of All Flesh is not just another copy of Stephen King’s The Stand. Instead, Waggoner takes the reader through different directions, which to my knowledge, have never been done before. Can any humanity be extracted from the zombies? How else can David’s random acts of kindness be explained? As in any book, there are characters to root for and against, but I never imagined I would be rooting for a zombie. One complete surprise follows another in this novel.
The Way of All Flesh offers non-stop excitement and action. Waggoner has the talent to make everything he writes believable. He takes complex characters and weaves them into the storyline seamlessly. The book is so fascinating that I couldn’t wait to find out how it ended. Trust me here, no matter what you could imagine the ending to be, it isn’t. Once again Waggoner proves himself to be completely original.
His writing style is what I could only hope for in a submission to The Horror Zine. Waggoner covers all the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and hearing. He makes you feel that you are there, as part of the action. You are intimately involved. Waggoner stays in the moment, revealing the events as they occur, and the more that is read, the more the suspense intensifies.
It is also an intelligent book, and I never once rolled my eyes and thought “as if.” I delved into every word. I found myself even reading and actually enjoying Waggoner’s descriptions instead of skipping over them like I have done with some books. Not this one; I didn’t want to miss a single word. It’s that good.
I am raving about this book because it is honestly worth your time to purchase and read. This novel is one where I wished I had thought of the idea first. But it is a good thing Tim Waggoner thought of the idea before me because I don’t think anyone could write it as well as he did.
Buy the book HERE
About the author
Shirley Jackson award-nominated author Tim Waggoner has published close to thirty novels, over a hundred stories, and his articles on writing have appeared in many publications. He teaches creative writing at Sinclair Community College and in Seton Hill University’s MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program. Visit him on the web at www.timwaggoner.com
About the reviewer
While most people go to Disneyland while in Southern California, Jeani Rector went to the Fangoria Weekend of Horror there instead. She grew up watching the Bob Wilkins Creature Feature on television and lived in a house that had the walls covered with framed Universal Monsters posters. It is all in good fun and actually, most people who know Jeani personally are of the opinion that she is a very normal person. She just writes abnormal stories. Doesn’t everybody?
Jeani Rector is the founder and editor of The Horror Zine and has had her stories featured in magazines such as Aphelion, Midnight Street, Strange Weird and Wonderful, Dark River Press, Macabre Cadaver, Ax Wound, Horrormasters, Morbid Outlook, Horror in Words, Black Petals, 63Channels, Death Head Grin, Hackwriters, Bewildering Stories, Ultraverse, and others. Her novel Pestilence: A Medieval Tale of Plague is released by The Horror Zine books.