Monday 21 January 2013

Deck Z: The Titanic by Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon

Published by Chronicle Books
Distributed by Raincoast Books

The story is familiar. The period of history is April 1912 and the passenger liner Titanic had set off for America, via the Atlantic Ocean. With the Titanic being much larger than any ship previously, she was considered to be unsinkable, but the events of April 14th and 15th proved otherwise.  Various sources of information would lead us to believe that the ship approached a massive iceberg and while efforts were made to try and avoid the mass of ice, it was too little, too late. If only the crew could have heeded the reports that were received earlier, things might have been much different.

Unfortunately, the crew, and many of the passengers on the ship at that time, had other priorities. The first of which was trying to stop, or at least slow down, the strange epidemic that was raging through the ship. Passengers and crew alike are displaying a multitude of symptoms, including: weeping sores, guttural groans, and an appetite for flesh.

Deck Z: The Titanic brings to light for the first time, what  really, likely, may have happened on the Titanic. (Okay, so it probably didn't happen this way but what the heck, it's far more entertaining!)

I have to admit to a little bias here. I'm a zombie junkie. When I saw this title, I knew I had to check it out, and I hoped that it wouldn't disappoint.

What I love about this book is that it starts off like a brilliant espionage tale. Weiss, a German scientist, has uncovered a plague, and the military plan to use it as their next biological weapon.  Weiss does the only thing he can; he takes the only existing vial and runs. His plan? To gain a ticket for the maiden voyage of the Titanic and head to America and safety from those who would cause harm.

I was hooked from the beginning, due to not only the fascinating plot, but the great writing style. Some of the characters I found familiar due to previously viewed information regarding the Titanic and her fate. Others were brand new, including one young lady known as 'Lou', who fast became a firm favourite of mine.  I found it difficult to put this book down for any real length of time since it has such a wonderful blend of history, technical info, mystery, and of course, imagination. 

While reading it, I was guided through such a vast range of intense emotions. It's one of those books that if I think of one word to define it, the word would be 'exhilerating'. It will be interesting to see if the book still maintains that quality during subsequent readings. I'll be sure to update when I read it again.

There's a quote that frequently shows up on social networks. It states:
That moment when you finish a book, look around, and realize that everyone is just carrying on with their lives as though you didn't just experience emotional trauma at the hands of a paperback.
For me, it's not a huge leap to imagine that the person, who stated this, had read Deck Z.  It's easily one of my favourite books for 2013 so far. While the cover states it's a first novel for Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon, I hope it won't be the last.


Carole said...

Charlene, thank you very much for following Carole's Chatter. I have followed you right back. Cheers

Charlene Martel said...

It's my pleasure Carole. Thank you for following me also :)