Review: Styx

Title: Styx (Amazon Link)

Author: Bavo Dhooge

Release Date: November, 2015

The tagline sounds so snazzy – “Zombie Cop vs. Serial Killer”.  The book… isn’t.

Instead, it’s a pedantic crawl through middle-aged self-pity, with periodic gory bouts speckled to allow the tag of “Zombie” to be tacked onto this for sales purposes.  I’d like to say that my disaffection was a culture issue (it’s a translated work by a Flemish author), but that’s not what’s going on.  I’ve actually spent time in the city where the novel is set, and I didn’t find the detailed geographic and locality references to provide any perks.

In the end, this is a crime drama that isn’t very engaging, with an attempted novelty of a protagonist (anti-hero?) who died halfway through the book and happened to inexplicably wake up again in a state of vague decay.  This isn’t some great duel of criminal minds – it’s merely going through the motions.

To be fair, I understand what Dhooge was trying to do.  But what I can’t understand is why the editor/agent involved tried to sell this as something special or unusual.  It reminded me of Going After Cacciato for all the wrong reasons, a little too obscene for the sake of obscenity rather than adding depth to the tale.


If you’re looking for a zombie book and you’re not a middle-aged male with joint issues, look somewhere else.

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