Where the Dead go to Die by Aaron Dries and Mark Allan Gunnells


So this review should have been posted a year ago, but somehow it never made it past the review writing stage in Word. So I do apologize to both the authors and potential readers for making them wait for such a great book! Please forgive me!

Where the Dead go to Die

By: Aaron Dries and Mark Allan Gunnells
Pages: 197
Published on: December 2, 2016
Where the Dead go to Die by Aaron Dries and Mark Allan Gunnells

There are monsters in this world. And they used to be us. Now it's time to euthanize to survive in a hospice where Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible.

Post-infection Chicago. Christmas.

Inside The Hospice, Emily and her fellow nurses do their rounds. Here, men and women live out their final days in comfort, segregated from society, and are then humanely terminated before fate turns them into marrow-craving monsters known as ‘Smilers.’ Outside these imposing walls, rabid protesters swarm with signs, caught up in the heat of their hatred.

Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible. But in a world where mortality means nothing, where guns are drawn in fear and nobody seems safe anymore – at what cost will this pursuit come? And through it all, the soon to be dead remain silent, ever smiling. Such is their curse.

This emotional, political novel comes from two of horror’s freshest voices, and puts a new spin on an eternal topic: the undead. In the spirit of George A Romero meets Jack Ketchum, Where the Dead Go to Die it is an unforgettable epilogue to the zombie genre, one that will leave you shaken and questioning right from wrong…even when it’s the only right left.

It won't be long before that snow-speckled ground will be salted by blood.


Find the Author: Website, Amazon


Where the Dead go to Die is a very unique and heartbreaking zombie story. I’ve never read a zombie story anything like this one and as truly heartbreaking as it was, I loved every minute. Lately, I’ve felt somewhat bored with the zombie genre, but this was such a different take on it that I was pulled out of my zombie funk.


The “zombies” in Where the Dead Go to Die are now put into a Hospice program to be “taken care of” when the time comes. I can only imagine the emotional toll this would take on the nurses and anyone who experiences this world. I almost think this would be worse than just killing them and getting it over with in the beginning. They are referred to as “guests” instead of “patients” which I think is kind of condescending considering usually when you are a guest somewhere it’s because you want to be there. Kind of like referring to prisoners as guests.


The characters of Emily and her daughter could be anyone really. They are easy to relate to and believable in their simplicity. I want to hug them.


This is an extraordinarily unprecedented story that will grip you by the heartstrings and pull until you are almost as broken as the characters within. I recommend Where the Dead go to Die to anyone who may be a little tired of your average zombie story but is willing to try something different. I plan to look into these authors further and read more of their work.





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About Aaron Dries and Mark Allan Gunnells

Author, illustrator, and filmmaker Aaron Dries was born and raised in New South Wales, Australia. When asked why he writes horror, his standard reply is that when it comes to scaring people, writing pays slightly better than jumping out from behind doors. He is the author of the award-winning novel House of Sighs, and his subsequent books, The Fallen Boys and A Place for Sinners are just as--if not more--twisted than his debut. ChiZine Publications, Samhain Horror, Crystal Lake Publishing, Scarlet Galleon Press, and a number of international magazines and online venues have published his fiction and art over the years. As a filmmaker, Dries’ short films have garnered awards in Australia, the UK, and the USA, and he is currently hard at work on multiple feature screenplays as well as novels. Feel free to drop him a line at aarondries.com or contact him through Twitter and Facebook. He won't bite. Much.

Mark Allan Gunnells loves to tell stories. He has since he was a kid, penning one-page tales that were Twilight Zone knockoffs. He likes to think he has gotten a little better since then. He loves reader feedback, and above all he loves telling stories. He lives in Greer, SC, with his husband Craig A. Metcalf, and blogs at http://markgunnells.livejournal.com/.

This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Dystopian, Horror, Zombies and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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