The Morningstar Saga by Z.A. Recht is a trilogy of books that serves as the chronicle for how a virus sweeps the globe and turns it to an apocalyptic nightmare.

The series is notable not only for its cinematic qualities, but for the use of traditional, Romero-esque shambling zombies as well as their faster cousins that debuted in 28 Days Later.

Plague of the Dead

Plague of the Dead

Permuted Press/Gallery Books reissue

The end begins with a viral outbreak unlike anything mankind has ever encountered before. The infected are subject to delirium, fever, a dramatic increase in violent behavior, and a one-hundred percent mortality rate. But it doesn’t end there.

The victims return from death to walk the earth.

When a massive military operation fails to contain the living dead it escalates into a global pandemic. In one fell swoop, the necessities of life become much more basic. Gone are petty everyday concerns. Gone are the amenities of civilized life. Yet a single law of nature remains: Live, or die. Kill, or be killed.

On one side of the world, a battle-hardened general surveys the remnants of his command: a young medic, a veteran photographer, a brash Private, and dozens of refugees, all are his responsibility—­all thousands of miles from home. Back in the United States, an Army colonel discovers the darker side of Morningstar virus and begins to collaborate with a well-known journalist to leak the information to the public...and the Morningstar Saga has begun.

Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain was originally released in December of 2006, re-released by Simon & Schuster in December of 2009.

Thunder and Ashes

Thunder and Ashes

Permuted Press/Gallery Books reissue

A LOT CAN CHANGE IN THREE MONTHS: Wars can be decided, nations can be forged...or entire species can be brought to the brink of annihilation. The Morningstar virus has swept the face of the planet, infecting billions. Its hosts rampage; its victims don't die, but are reborn as cannibalistic shamblers.

SCATTERED ACROSS THE WORLD, EMBATTLED GROUPS HAVE PERSEVERED. For some, survival is the pinnacle of achievement. Others hoard goods and weapons. And still others leverage power over the remnants of humanity with a mysterious cure. Francis Sherman and Anna Demilio want only a vaccine, but to find it they must cross a ravaged landscape of the infected and the lawless living.

THE BULK OF THE STORM HAS PASSED, leaving echoing thunder and softly drifting ashes. But for the survivors, the peril remains, and the search for a cure is just beginning...

Thunder and Ashes was released by Permuted in April of 2008, re-released by Simon & Schuster in November of 2010.



Original Edition

For the world, the Morningstar Strain was the end. For these Survivors, it was just the beginning.

Their journey across the decimated United States is one of hardship and sacrifice, but it also one with a goal: the Cure. This is the story of two separate bands of survivors, fighting to thrive in post-Morningstar America. Now that the dust has settled, people who have made it through to the other side have found themselves living a nightmare, where the old rules of society have no bearing.

As these small groups of Survivors come together, including a virologist in one and an immune soldier in another, they face not only the constant threat of the Infected and marauding Raiders that live off robbing others, but the more devious threat of Sawyer, an agent of the Chairman of the Reunited States of America, who believes that Doctor Demilio already has the cure, and he will stop at nothing to find her.

The Survivors fight not only for the future, but for their own souls, as they learn that, even here, at the End of the World, there are some lines they will not cross.

Survivors was finished by Thom Brannan in January of 2011 and was released by Simon & Schuster in June, 2012.

Original Covers


Cover art by Christian Dovel.

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