Book Review: Survivors of the Dead: From the Ashes

Phillip Tomasso

For me, there were very few could-not-wait-to-read zombie novels due out at the end of 2013 / beginning of 2014. Tony Baker’s debut, Survivors of the Dead: From the Ashes, however, was one of them. Over the last four months I’ve gotten to know the author on social media outlets. His humble networking and supportive personality enhanced my interest in his work. As soon as it released, I downloaded it and read the story in two sittings. (Always a good sign).

Harry Lancaster is a retired San Francisco Police Officer. A man who was always happy patrolling, and not interested in the politics tied to what came with higher rank promotions. A simple man, he worked full time taking care of an apartment building. The free rent that was included as a benefit aided a guy on an otherwise fixed income from a modest government pension.

When the zombie outbreak occurs, Lancaster is nearly at a loss. Unsure what is happening in his building, Lancaster does a floor by floor search. He determines two things immediately. Something is wrong, very, very wrong. And he is far too old to still be dealing with such shenanigans. The best goal first goal he can think of us is weapons. He knows he needs more weapons to protect himself. The police department where he once worked will be stockpiled.


Teamed up with a veteran and rookie cop, Lancaster maps out a plan. Getting to an island by boat might be the best chance at surviving the attack until the government can regain control of the country. Alcatraz or Treasure Island will be safer than scrambling around on the mainland looking for some safe haven.

A simple journey from one point to another, a few measly miles, has become a trek that will challenge Lancaster and his small band of police officers. They have their work cut out as they face down hordes of zombies, help frightened people and encounter less-than friendly enemies in Survivors of the Dead: From the Ashes.

With an engaging plot and a host of memorable characters, I applaud Baker’s debut. The writing is tight. The dialogue is believable. Baker knows how to explain police and military procedures and weapons in a way that is educational, without being instructional. I enjoyed the Bay area references. Felt like I was there, a part of the team. The set up at the end of From the Ashes for the second in the series was perfect. I

know I cannot wait to see what happens next!

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