Review: Dust of the Dead by John Palisano

Reboot the apocalypse!
For a while, it looked like the living had won. The war against the walking dead lasted almost a decade, but it’s mostly over. There are only a few straggling zombies left to take care of. Los Angeles has returned to its lattes and long commutes. It’s up to a small Reclamation Crew to clean up the Zoms left behind. But when the undead dry up, their skin turns to dust. Now the hot Santa Ana winds deliver a new threat…because the Zoms were only the beginning of something far worse.

I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.

I love anything zombies and it is always hard to find a really decent book that deals with them in a way that makes you want to read about 'em. With Dust of The Dead things are not the same as it would be in other zombie books. The author thought out of the box on this one. The world is not going crazy it is not every person of themselves, after about five years of the world dealing with zombies or zom's everything is just about normal. There seems to be a team of people called the Reclamation Crew and they deal with the undead. Which I think is actually pretty cool. that would be a decent and cool job to have. 
We follow Mike as he works the crew that he just joined, we see what he sees on a daily basis. When they get a call about a sick man as his neighbor is concerned about him they get more than they bargained for. People are seeming to turn into something different and what it is caused by is the dust. Yes dust but not your average dust this is dust from the undead. These new things are called Twitchers and you will find out why as you read are stronger, harder to take down and talk just like normal. The only thing is they look horrible. 
Now as the story progressed we saw some action but I felt the story lacked at times or maybe it was just the character. He seemed to act like a coward. There is a scene where he is getting calls to come in when one of these newly turned is in a train car. He chooses not to go out there. Which in a way I could understand but I figured he would want to at least help. 
I did enjoy the small twist that came to Mike but I wondered about the ending. I wouldn't say it was a cliffhanger but I felt some things were left unanswered. Would he go and get the cure? Will he be shot on site because of what he looks like? Will the world be rid of these twitchers? What about the guy that saved him did he turn into one of them or is he still "normal"?  What about the possible "sonic noise" that was heard I would have liked more information on that. 
Overall a good story, something that I enjoyed and it did feel fresh being as I have never read a story where the dust of the undead cause something else entirely. 

John Palisano
One evening when I was only a small boy, my father allowed me to stay up late with him and watch NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD on television. He fell asleep, but I waited for the end. I couldn’t believe they’d let the lead guy die after all that. I was horrified. Later that summer we went to the drive-in, which was a big deal in Norwalk, Connecticut in the 1970s. Everyone went. We all piled into the Bomb, our old station wagon, and saw lots of movies there. There was a swing set right up front where a many of the little kids congregated. We got a kick out of that, especially during GREASE, because there was a similar set-up in the movie. One night, though, there was a double-feature that I’ll never forget.
Demon Seed scared me, and the unforgettable images still haunt me. The film that followed, though, ruined me for good. ALIEN. I don’t think I walked past my attic door after dark that entire summer for fear the alien would snatch me up and away.
Soon I couldn’t even go to the beach. JAWS waited for us. Of course, this was also the time I discovered my father’s treasure trove of old horror comics, most of which I still have safe and sound. My imagination was on fire. We went to some of the early science fiction conventions in New York. I found Fangoria, and used Tom Savini’s Grande Illusions book in an attempt to make my own monsters at home, and experimented with that for several fake-bloodstained years. Eventually, though, I realized my favorite part was in dreaming up the ideas. In all truth, I was better in that regard than in any of my make-ups.
During middle school I put out a xeroxed fanzine Castle Gore that I sold to my classmates for a quarter an issue. Inside, alongside my reviews of whatever movies were coming out, I put some of my own short stories.
By the time I was thirteen I’d completed my first novel . . . novella, really . . . about a time-traveling teenager who saves the world from a monster bred in a Victorian scientist’s lab. He used a flying go-kart to do so.
Songwriting found me. For years I toured with rock n’ roll bands, opening for national acts, and all the while, writing lots of lyrics, poems, and short stories. Winding up at Emerson College, I truly found myself. My short stories were finally professionally published in some of the local academic literary magazines, and also my script He’d Hoped For Mars won the Latent Image Magazine screenwriting contest, but was turned into a successful short film, scored by Aaron Logan at nearby Berklee College of Music.
After college I moved to Los Angeles, taking an internship with Ridley Scott. That was a phenomenal time in my life, and I learned so much. I worked on many big budget films, and got to see how those films I grew up with really came together. Of course, being in that hotbox, I wrote lots of scripts. Had an option or three, and produced a couple of low-budget films while I was at it. Something happened, though.
The movies of the scripts often came out so differently than the original ideas. Budget compromises. With writing stories, well, the only limit is your imagination. You’re not limited to how much money you have, or time, or your location, or the skill of the CG artists on your team.
Shifting gears to prose has not been easy. I had hundreds of rejections from top markets until I began to place my stories. That is not an exaggeration. It was harder to place a pro-level fiction piece than find financing for my first film. I love the challenge, and few things have been as satisfying.
My journey continues, of course. All these years later, we finally have the release of my novel NERVES from Bad Moon Books in the winter of 2012. In the meantime, there’s lots of short stories appearing soon, and several movie projects, too.
Thanks for reading.
John Palisano



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