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REVIEW: 'Nekropolis' by Tim Waggoner


   Matt Richter is a dead man. Literally. He's an ex-cop now working as a freelance PI in Nekropolis, an alternate dimensional City of the Dead. Richter is good at doing favors for those who can help him, and good at finding things out and making people talk. He's also very, very dead. As the only free-willed zombie in the alternate dimensional haven city of Nekropolis, he's odd even compared to the weird, dangerous, and creepy citizens of the city.


Review

I'm sure the first thought someone checking this out has is why "different from other Urban Fantasies" is both a pro and a con.  I placed that in both categories because I think some readers will view it one way and some the other.  When picking this up to read I thought perhaps the title was more a slang reference to whatever city it was going to be set in.  Actually it is the name of the city itself, the story taking place in an alternate dimension where all the monsters of our nightmares have retreated to from Earth.  To me is was a "con" at first (probably simply because of my incorrect assumption), but as I got used to Nekropolis and it felt more familiar to me that change.  By the end of the book Waggoner had turned it into a "pro" for me.

Nekropolis follows former police detective (from earth) turned zombie, Matt Richter.  As much as I love zombie stories, I've shied away from some of the stories where writers have tried to turn zombies into intelligent characters.  Truth be told, I thought Tim Waggoner handled this perfectly.  He showed different types of zombies that exist and how even in Nekropolis, Matt was a unique specimen. Where something like this would not work in a typical American city, having the story set off of Earth made him fit right in (as much as possible) with all the other monsters.

Speaking of monsters, Nekropolis was giving me flash-backs of the show "Ugly Americans", with less americans however.  Strange and powerful monsters make up the majority of the city's population and definitely show the reader this is not your typical Urban Fantasy with monsters hiding in shadows only to show up here and there.

The plot itself is pretty generic fair, with Matt Richter working with a half vampire/half human woman to recover a powerful artifact before it is used for nefarious means.  Most of the enjoyment in the story comes not so much from the plot, but from getting to know Nekropolis and all it's strange characters including our storyteller Richter.  Even in the story resolution where it might not blow your mind with anything shocking, makes Nekropolis a deeper and more interesting place.

Bottom Line:

Nekropolis was an interesting take on two very common story types today: zombies and urban fantasies.  Waggoner creates something different than expected and seems to lay the foundation for so much more to take place in Nekropolis.

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