Monday, January 21, 2013

First Read Friday - Death Has Come Up Into Our Windows


     Title: Death Has Come Up Into Our Windows
     (The Zombie Bible Book #1)
     Author: Stant Litore 
     Publisher: 47North 
     Published: August 14, 2012 
     Number of Pages: 93 
     Genre(s): Horror, Historical Fiction, Mythology
     Date Read: January 13, 2013
     Acquired: Chapters

Yerusalem is being ravaged by a plague, so what else is new? It's biblical times, something bad is always happening in Yerusalem! This isn't just your normal plague though, this isn't wine and water turning to blood, it's not frogs or fireballs falling from the sky, and it's definitely not something as mundane as a plague of locusts. No, this is an old plague, true evil, a sign that the people of Yerusalem have truly failed God and are doomed, it must be; for why else would the dead be walking the earth?

Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah for those of you unfamiliar with the biblical spelling) tried to warn the people, he truly did. He tried to stop them, did everything in his power to try and make them see the error of their ways. He has failed; the city is besieged by Babylon and there are more and more dead wandering the streets, soon they will surely out number the living. He is of course terrified and appalled, with his fellow men and especially with himself. He blames himself for their downfall, for not doing even more than he did to stop it from coming to this. Yirmiyahu has given everything to try and save Yerusalem, even breaking his covenant with his wife to send her away so that he could stay and try to save the city he loves. But now he is alone, for even God has left Yirmiyahu.

WIthout God how can Yirmiyahu hope to save Yerusalem and its people from the tide of walking dead that they unleashed upon themselves?

At 93 pages this is a lovely little one sitting read, or at least it would have been something I could have read in one sitting were it not for the fact that I've been having a hard time concentrating on anything for more than thirty minutes at a time thanks to my wisdom tooth headaches (I'm headed to the dentist on Wednesday to get that looked at). I like books that can be read in one sitting, I'd much rather spend two and a half hours reading a book from start to finish than watching a movie. The book is a much richer world and I have a very vivid imagination; I usually much prefer my own visualisations to those in film adaptations for example. Because of my headaches, I wanted something that would allow me to get through it quickly because I knew it would be an effort to focus so I scoured the pile and came away with this and it fit my reading needs at the time perfectly.

This is not the type of book I would normally gravitate towards, when it comes to supernatural creatures I'm usually a vampire or werewolf fan. I always used find zombies to be incredibly lame but then I took a class back in 2008 and we studied zombie movies and even though I still thought they were lame I enjoyed the symbolism of them. Milla Jovovich and the Resident Evil series can be attributed with eradicating my dislike of zombies; the zombies in that series are not lame at all. So thanks to that class, and Resident Evil when I won the third book in the Zombie Bible series from Book Riot's Name that Author contest one week back in November I was super excited to read it because a) Hey I won a free book! Yeah! and b) Oooh Christian mythology meets modern horror! so I decided then and there that I would acquire the first two books and read them in order. I asked my local library to order them, and they did; but then I ended up getting a lot of book money for Christmas and just bought them myself. 

I'm extremely glad that I did decide to dive in and give the zombie lit. a chance because this book didn't disappoint me. That being said, if you're a zombie fan a word of warning, do not be fooled by the gory cover image above, the title or the summary; the zombies are in there, assuredly, but they are not the stars of the action so if you're expecting gory action scenes all over the place and life or death chases this is not the zombie book you are looking for. I for one am okay with that because I really enjoyed the direction that the author took the story but maybe that's just the religious culture scholar in me? There's a lot of philosophical and religious waxing on the part of the main character; a good 90% of the book is him working through his own actions and those of his fellow Israelites, trying to figure out if they are capable or even worthy of redemption by God. For that reason the narrative is not linear it jumps around a lot between the present and several different points in the past through flashbacks.

On the plus side you really don't need to know anything at all about Christian mythology because Litore has taken little almost meaningless biblical incidents and imbued them with a new fantastical life. It is a bold undertaking indeed, and I know that there are people out there who are perfectly willing and ready to label this as sacrilege or blasphemy, but I am not one of those people. I applaud him for having the courage to take on this idea and it is a brilliant one. He has executed his vision amazingly, and he is so completely into this project that even his historian's note at the beginning and about the author section at the back do not break from the character he has created for himself of a zombie historian who has survived a 1992 outbreak of zombies in the Pacific Northwest. That right there is dedication to one's art.

I am excited to read the rest of the series and Stant Litore is now most definitely on my list of authors to watch for.

Check him and his zombies out at


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