Your Brother's Blood by David Towsey

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Thomas wakes under the crush of burnt bodies, struggling upwards out of the pit he starts to realise what's happened. He peers at the hole in his chest, recalling faint memories of fighting and eventually receiving his bayonet wound. All the bodies underneath him are still dressed in their red uniform, a mass grave for the wounded, burnt to stop them coming back but obviously not well enough. He's become a Walkin', dead but still moving.

He thinks of his wife and his daughter, can he risk seeing them again and would they even want to see him in his semi-decomposed state? They live in the small town of Barkley, a place with no Walkin' due to the zealous preachings of their Pastor who commands them burnt, along with their firstborn. He can't fight the pull of his home and family and returns in the middle of the night, just to see his wife's face one more time. Luck's against him and he's seen but now people know he's a Walkin' it's not his life at stake but his daughters, they both need to run...fast.

Set at the end of the 21st century the world has pushed its technology too far and is plunged back into the times before computers, mobiles and the Internet. Due to this simpler style of living and the desert like location the novel has a strong classic western feel about it but with a zombie twist. Being the first in a trilogy, Your Brother's Blood spends a while setting up the scene and during this time you become increasingly fond of the main characters, Thomas and his daughter, Mary. You also become increasingly furious at the fanatically religious Pastor and Luke, his assistant as they refuse any opinions but their own. Although this could be described as a zombie book, it almost feels like a secondary theme next to the Western styling and general fight for survival and although it wasn't what I was expecting from this novel, I really enjoyed it. This zombie-western also manages to pull at your emotional strings, raising the question of what would you do if your loved one was still living somewhere but not alive and what would you do if you were the one who came back? I'm very much looking forward to the next book in this unique series.



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