New Release! Taking on the Dead by Annie Walls

Posted: September 22, 2012 in fiction, horror, Release day, reviews, Series, Zombies
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Taking on the Dead, The Famished Trilogy, Book One

I really wanted to hurry and get this read for release day, but I forced myself to take my time. I did not want to miss one tiny bit of it!

Taking on the Dead (The Famished Trilogy, #1)


I love the grainy image of the cover. It sets the tone for the story and this girl is perfect for the protagonist, Kansas. I am loving her dreadlocks and she knows how to use that machete, as you will see when you read Taking on the Dead!

Let’s get to the book shall we?

So here you are at the carnival, walking hand in hand with your boyfriend, anticipating a night of rides and games, taking in all of the sights, sounds and smells. Suddenly, zombies are everywhere, and you are in for the fight of your life.

That’s what happened to Kansas. She survived that night, but paid a heavy price.

Fast forward to four years later. Kansas City Sunshine Moore, also known as Kansas or Kan for short,  has been surviving, hiding out in her family’s underground bunk all alone. A betrayal by a group of people she offered shelter to forces her to leave her home and search for a new one. She quickly discovers there is much she doesn’t know about the zombies. There are the fresh ones, the Famished, and they are very fast and strong. What else doesn’t she know? She has been secluded for four years and now it looks like that wasn’t the smartest thing to do.

The first time Kansas meets Rudy, they don’t actually meet. With the long reach of his compound bow, he helps clear zombies from her path, but Kan is still wary of strangers and jumps in her car and races away. It’s a good thing Rudy decides to follow her, because the next time they meet he saves her life.

Kan comes to in the back of Rudy’s van. Well actually, it is an armored truck, the kind used to transport money, and it’s perfect for keeping out the pesky zombies. It can also mow them down easily. After a brief scuffle, Rudy convinces her he means no harm. Through conversation, Kan learns about the Famished, the dangerously fast zombies, and how different they are from the others. She learns a lot about what’s been happening while she was isolated in her bunker the first four years. Staying with Rudy, at least for now, is her best bet.

My thoughts and Ramblins

I’m going to warn you, I feel this story is for the older reading audience. There are no graphic sexual scenes but there is some mature content.

I love my zombies and I sure did get plenty of them in Taking on the Dead. I also got one heck of a great story about survival and humanity, and the lack of it. Not everyone that survives is nice, just like before the apocalypse. The characters are diverse and all too human.

Of course, there is some romance in the story. It is subtle, creeping up on you, just like it does to Kansas. It is not the focal point, but it definitely makes the story better. Wouldn’t you want someone to have and to hold when your world is overrun with zombies? I know I wouldn’t mind having someone to care about, otherwise, what’s the point of surviving?

Kansas is strong-willed and independent, but not necessarily a loner. Enter Rudy and her life gets complicated. Who could resist a man like him. Strong and gentle, with a large dose of sexiness and endearing humbleness. They are a good fit.

Here are some of my favorite scenes:

I almost elbow Rudy to wake him until I see how he looks when sleeping…Despite all the fighting, his nose is straight. Small scars from past fights etch his skin. A small, wide one dresses his lower lip. One much longer goes from his lower jaw to underneath the chin, his stubble efficiently covering it up. A chipped tooth adorns his bottom row of teeth.  The scar on his right eyebrow no longer allows hair to grow, splitting the eyebrow in half. He might get another scar on his left eyebrow, the cut is scabbed over now, and it’s wider then the scar on his left side. Very small imperfections, not even noticeable unless you look closely. It doesn’t take away from his handsome face. It enhances his masculinity, as if he needs it. The small flaws have history and give him character. Flaws I want to know about, and could grow quite fond of if I’m not careful.

Jesus. This chivalrous barbarian is beautiful. What am I getting myself into?

And of course some humor

“I’m thinking of naming your truck. I must be out of it.” I prop my head on the pillow against the window.

There’s slight amusement across his features. “What did you have in mind?”

“I don’t know. Something domineering and associated with a big ass.” I motion with my hands.

He surprises me by saying, “Agatha. I had a teacher in the sixth grade, and that was her first name. She liked her power over us weaklings and she had a gigantic ass.” He starts laughing and shaking his head as if to clear the thought.

“Yeah, that fits. Agatha.” I say, trying it out.

“She was scary. I was glad when sixth grade was over.” We both laugh at this. I can’t picture him afraid of anything. It feels good to be laughing about something completely stupid. I can see he needed to laugh too.

The humor is well placed throughout the story, lightening the mood and giving you a break from the stress of survival, just as it would in real life. You know the scenes, where the cop makes a joke in poor taste about a victim?  That is a coping mechanism, and everyone needs one. The humor makes this story believable.

In one part Kansas poses an interesting question about zombies. One I am now curious about as well.

Do the souls get stuck to watch and feel their bodies decompose, all the while having an uncontrolled, insatiable craving? I guess that’s why I like killing them, just in case. No one deserves that fate.

There are some colorful characters you’ll be meeting.  There are the good, the bad, and the ugly. They all play their part, keeping you entertained and engaged.

This is my stopping point. I don’t like to tell much about the story past the one-third point. I like to draw you in and get you interested, much the way Annie Walls did to me.

I loved every second I was in it, and yes, it felt like I was a part of it. Fantastic job Annie!

Just one more thing and then you can go get Taking on the Dead.

About the ending!

I was talking to Mandy over on Goodreads. She is right about the ending! That’s all I’m saying.

  Still loving it and feeling it!!


More good news! There are two more books in this series coming out.

Controlling the Dead, Book Two

Living with the Dead, Book Three

About Annie Walls

Author of dark fantasy and sub-genres of horror. Voracious Reader and Googler. Lover of dark humor. Horror Buff. Zombie Apocalypse Enthusiast. Loyal Cracked follower. Pinterest Addict. Wife of adoring husband. Mother of a five year old Bruce Wayne. Cook. Maid. Kisser of boo-boos. Ultimate Time Waster. Perfect Procrastinator. Lolly Gagger. Trubie. Cake Decorator. Tea Drinker. Sculpey Sculptor. Girl Gamer. Perfectionist in the art of Facebook stalking. And now, God help me, a blogger. Oh yeah, and a twitter, twatter, tweeter. Well yeah, I’m one crafty bitch

You can find Annie here:

You can purchase Taking on the Dead by clicking on the cover image below.

  1. Emma says:

    Laura, you’re going to have me out of pocket! I keep seeing books here that I go straight to Amazon for.
    I’m reading Latter Day of the Dead now thanks to you :) and it looks like Taking On the Dead is next.
    Maybe I just like titles that contain the word “dead”. Hmm. And the grainy image is very cool.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Maybe because the title has “dead: in it, I review them:) I just know that I have been so lucky to discover these great books that are so well written. I marvel at it.

      Next up is Under the Desert Moon!

  2. Annie Walls says:

    Thank you for the amazing review, Laura!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      You’re welcome. But I should be thanking you for this amazing story.

      I stayed up late last night to finish it. I wanted to post my review as close as I could to your release date.

      Congratulations on your new release and thanks so much for sharing your story.

      I am thrilled that it is a series. Hope I don’t have too long to wait for Controlling the Dead!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Hey Annie. Please keep me in mind for reviews of your other books! Would love to read and review more for you:)

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Thanks Lori. And thanks for stopping by.It’s fun to write reviews for books like this. The writing is great and the story just grabs you. I loved the book and can’t wait for the next ones!

  3. Elisabeth says:

    I’ve wondered that about zombies…if the soul’s still there or if the virus just controls the body like the Flood in HALO. Nobody’s ever answered that question for me…

  4. Lily & Erin says:

    Love Zombie books, and always on the look out for a recommended zombie read! Thanks for the review. Just added it to my Goodreads list.

    Bookluvrs Haven

  5. wulfie76 says:

    Another book to add to the TBR mountain! You are killing me Laura! :)