I received this book from the publisher for free for an honest review.

For the last 300 years mankind has been on the brink of annihilation. Billions have already died worldwide either from a ravaging virus, toxic weather, or on the orders of global dictator Pye Peters and his Severance organization. This is a desolate world full of despair where even thinking bad thoughts can lead to imprisonment or worst of all execution and revival. Those still alive are collectively called Breathers, amongst them are witches who are on the bottom rung of society’s ladder, shunned by all, imprisoned just for existing, punished only by execution, and rape. Even zombies, slaves who have no rights, even the right to think for themselves, are still placed higher than witches.

It is the year 2603, Mars has been colonized and turned into a debauched holiday resort for those unfortunate enough to still be living on what is left of Earth. Blake 187 has heard the stories, no zombie worth his salt wants to work there cleaning up after sex workers and their clients. This is the story of Blake Evan Floray, who is denied the peace of everlasting sleep after committing suicide to escape from a life without his beloved girlfriend Enni, brought back to life by the Severance organization. Severance requires slaves as a cheap labour force, so after revival, multiple operations, continual medication, and reprogramming Blake 187 is to be put to work, Mars beckons.

Blake is as miserable in death as he was in life, but it is his small spark of stubbornness that keeps him going and it is not long before his thoughts turn to escape and dreams of heroes. The hero in question being the legendary zombie escapee Dex and his equally legendary rebel army, who are purportedly thriving out in the badlands even without the medication supplied by Severance.

You might think that zombies have been done to death (pun intended), but it is actually in its relative infancy compared to so many other genres. There has been a glut of zombie novels released in recent times, however, I can honestly say that this is only the second time I have come across the fully sentient walking dead. Indeed the zombies in Blake 187, are trying their hardest to keep rabidity at bay and save their humanity.

The authors Michelle Wright and Aiden James obviously complement each other well, I tried extremely hard, and trust me, I was looking, but I could not find the joins at all.

I liked it, I like miserable people and Blake was wretched enough for me to want to fire up my DeLorean and deposit half my Prozac prescription in his rotting palm. Yes Blake is suspicious and a little bit introspective, but it cannot be much fun being a zombie, and he is a product of an unpleasant childhood not to mention a pitiable life and death. The is no action until the second half of the book which is unusual for a book featuring zombies, but then this is a slightly unusual story. There is a twist towards the end for everyone who loves twisting and the culmination leaves the reader with ample room to send their imagination off on all sorts of tangents.

Maybe there are more zombie books out there following this sentient path, if so, I for one would like to do a shambolic shuffle across some more in the same vein.