March 25, 2015



Title: The Beautiful Dead 
(The Beautiful Dead, #1)
Author: Daryl Banner
Release Date: July 29, 2013
Genre: Post Apocalyptic Zombie


She’s dead. In fact, the whole world’s dead. Every single person, apparently. Unburied and reimagined into a beautiful living-dead woman called Winter, she is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in a quaint, peaceful city with no hunger, no sickness and no bills to pay. Her Second Life is perfect in every way possible. So why is she so bent on destroying it all? After angering the mayor, befriending rebel headless teenagers and igniting romance with a dark and brooding neighbor, she finds herself wrestling madly with a First Life she cannot remember and this Second Life she cannot accept. Not to mention the maniacal army of rotting corpses who want her dead. Again. But none of that matters in comparison to an even worse problem. There’s a guest in her house. A rude, good-looking man on the run ... a man with a heartbeat.  
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 “You’re all dead,” I whisper, like I’m just now discovering this. “Undead. Every last one of us,” she agrees. “I doubt there’s a Living left in the world.” Looking at each of them, it’s dawning on me what world I’ve been brought into. A dead world. Ageless. No one breathes here or ever will again. Souls being fetched from soil and made up into fake-alive people, like me. A world full of … silent chests. “Now,” she says, gripping my foot tight, “hold still while I make you a new pinkie toe.” I don’t remember what else she or the Roxie girl or the twelve-year-old do to me. I don’t remember having my right ear reshaped, or my nose reset, or color fused into my lips by some weird kind of gun-shaped mechanism. Even though Helena claims otherwise, I don’t remember choosing Icecap Blue for my eyes. “And now, girl, meet Winter!” Helena’s guided me over to the first mirror I’ve seen since my Raising. The maybe-twenty-year-old face in the mirror is one I should probably recognize since it’s my own, but I don’t. She has eyes like arctic pools. Hair that falls like a soft mist, veiling half her face. Her skin is a sea of satin. Her nails are little polished glass shards. Her lips, a subtle pink, with cheeks gently blushed the same. The person in the mirror is a person I do not know. “What do you think?” the large woman asks me, obviously proud of her work. “Can you live with this?” My left hand falls off. “Roxie!” the large woman yelps. “Adhesive, honey! Proper, level-four-grade adhesive!—I do swear!” A lot of shuffling, a slight shove from my left side, and I’m whole again. I wiggle my fingers and they seem to work. For how long, who knows. “Should we try another blush?—another eye color?” the large-in-charge offers sweetly. “We have enough time before our next appointment.” “This is fine,” I say, defeated somehow. “Icecap Blue is fine. My name is fine. Whatever.” Winter. I didn’t even choose my own name.   

Holy effing awesomesauce!

This book kicks some major zombie apocalyptic literary booty. I loved this new refreshing take on the zombie genre. There is so much in this book to enjoy, its takes the zombie story to a whole new level.

Banner introduces a world full of variations of living and non-living beings all equally trying to survive in what they envision as this new life or second life. The Undead, the Deathless and the Humans. Each group coping in their own way with the hand that was dealt them whether embracing death, pretending to live or simply hoping for something better.

Banner's main character in this novel is Winter, and undead being dealing with the reality of being exactly that, undead. She is well developed throughout the book. Her initial disdain and disassociation with how she exists and how her second life revolves is realistic and understandable. Her fascination with the living gives the reader an intimate view of how the simplest brilliance of life can be taken for granted something as ordinary as a dancing flame, the taste of an apple, or the light of the sun. We see these things through different and longing eyes in Winter and its truly riveting. Banner describes these moments with such great detail that you can almost feel and see exactly what Winter does.

I also enjoyed Banner's world development and supporting cast of characters. There are some very amazing heroines in this book aside from Winter. They exude such strength and determination throughout the book that you almost want to pump a fist in the air and scream "HELL YEA". The environment in this book will also leave you captivated, from the intricacy of the undead community that exists, to the darkness that lurks in the shadows.

The ultimate theme in this novel is one of life. How we live it, what legacy we leave behind, and if we had a second chance how would we use it. It is one that will keep you both engaged and invested throughout this intriguing read.

I am so looking forward to continuing this series and I cannot wait to dive into book 2

The Beautiful Dead Series

TheBeautifulDead2_DeadOfWinter_HQ-Cover Dead of Winter (Beautiful Dead, #2) Available Now!

No one said being an Undead is easy. Winter’s Second Life became a lot more complicated when the Living moved into her hometown of Trenton. Undead neighbors fight with their Breathing ones. Food is sparse. And, worst of all, the season is taking a change for the colder. A desperate plea for help to a neighboring city turns deadly and soon Winter finds herself facing an old friend from her past whose plot to annihilate all life on the planet may have everything to do with her. And what about the man-with-the-heartbeat in her house? Is there even room for love in such a ruined, unforgiving world? New friends are made. Others are lost forever. In the dead of winter, no one is safe.

Almost Alive (Beautiful Dead, #3) Coming April 24th Twelve years have passed since the devastation. The world is changed. What once was a planet struggling to survive is now a planet bursting to life. The humans are thriving. Gardens are growing. Trees are reaching up to the sky and the Undeadly clutch on the planet is slowly letting go. But what does that mean for Winter and her friends? In the wake of spring, the last of the desperate Undead gather, fighting to maintain their place in a world that no longer wants them. Mother Nature slowly but certainly works to purge the planet of the Dead, just when Winter thought she had finally embraced this Second Life. Her new friends are back and old nemeses return for the final chapter in Winter's Undead journey.    

About the Author 

Daryl Banner is a writer and composer who graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Theatre and Psychology. After writing several plays and a musical in college, he started composing for short films and websites, one of which is the Vamplets "Baby Vampyre Dolls" website: ( Interesting tidbits: Daryl is also an obsessive piano player, video game enthusiast, and occasional actor. He's been remixing video game music for over fifteen years, and is a passionate Final Fantasy fan. You can feed your ears with many of his remixes (as well as his original music) on his YouTube page "". Also, he personally answers all emails he receives, so if you have some strange desire to write him, he may enjoy it. He currently resides in Texas.  


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