Used by permission as posted on Tim’s Book Reviews.

By the Blood of Heroes (The Great Undead War, #1)Premise: In the midst of World War I, Major Jack Freeman gets in a dogfight with Baron Manfred von Richthofen. When he is shot down by the Red Baron, veteran Captain Michael Burke is the logical choice to go in to rescue him. Burke must gather several trusted men to make the suicide mission because not only is Jack his half brother, but he is also the son of the president.

To make things worse, the Germans have produced a corpse gas that turns the dead into zombies, raising enemy and ally to fight again and unleashing an almost unlimited supply of new soldiers into the fray. On top of this, it also seems that they have modified the gas to work on the living as well, raising Richthofen from the dead but also giving him enhanced abilities and strength.

Burke must find a way to sneak into the German prison camp to rescue Freeman before they learn his political secret, but also before they have a chance to experiment on him and release their new and improved corpse gas upon the world using tunneling machines and airships to turn the tide. Will Burke be successful, or will it be too late for the Allies and the world?

Themes: By the Blood of Heroes is almost primarily a war story. It could survive on its own without the zombie and steampunk elements, though these things create a mystique and incorporate current trends with the military aspects of the book.

In a way, By the Blood of Heroes is a heist novel in the way that Burke and his men plan their infiltration of the German camp to accomplish the goal of rescuing Freeman. Among other things, in their discovery of the corpse gas production facilities their plans change and they are forced to improvise as they go.

Pros: While I can’t vouch completely for the accuracy of all the weaponry, the historical military lingo is evidence that Joseph Nassise did his homework for this book. The blending of steampunk and zombies in the historical military setting is accomplished masterfully, creating a zombie novel far better than others I have read, but quite unique comparatively.

Cons: Knowing what I know about zombies, it is hard to believe that they have the potential to have heightened senses and abilities while at the same time constantly decomposing. I also wasn’t a fan of the cover. Despite its unique setting, seeing the Red Baron with a decomposing face seemed cliche for the zombie genre.

Recommendations: On seeing the cover for By the Blood of Heroes and reading the blurb, I was wary of it being too cheesy. I was thankfully proven wrong that this turned out to be a historical war story that played the zombie and steampunk cards judiciously. I put this up there in the same vein as Boneshaker and Dreadnought by Cherie Priest in the realm of successful cross-genre fiction, blending historical fiction, zombies, and steampunk all in one tasty story. I am very much looking forward to Book 2.

Joseph Nassise’s website
By the Blood of Heroes on Goodreads

– Tim

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Zombie Awareness International is proud to announce our first sponsorship.

A few months ago, we were approached by ZAI member David Marchbanks, asking if we could sponsor he and his friend Cameron Scholz for the Garmin Marathon in the Land of OZ, in Olathe, Kansas.

After speaking with them about their plans and what they had in mind, we agreed to sponsor them, and sent them a couple “ZAI Marathon Team” T-shirts.

It goes without saying that physical fitness is important no matter what, but will be paramount during the Zpoc, and these guys are getting ready. Here is some info on the guys. We are proud to call them ZAI members, and happy to support a couple guys who are dedicated to fitness in prep of the Zpoc, and who stick together when things get rough.

Name:

Cameron Scholz

Location:

Overland Park, Kansas/Pittsburg State University

Why ZAI for a sponsor?

Thought it was a cool group and what better group to sponsor a Marathon team than a Zombie Awareness Organization.

Is this your first marathon?

This is my first Marathon.

What have you been doing to train?

A lot of running (5 mile runs) and cardio activities (3 hours of soccer with my friends)

Why is fitness important to preparedness?

Obviously being fit is crucial. It is after all survival of the fittest.

Future marathon/event plans?

Definitely running the Oz Marathon next year. This year the goal is to finish next year it is to finish with a good time. Also we will probably find some 5ks and/or other marathons to run between now and then.

Name

David Marchbanks

Location

Overland Park, KS

Why ZAI for a sponsor?

Zombies are an interest of mine and i really like the group and how it is run, interesting.

Is this your first marathon?

Yes

What have you been doing to train?

Running daily, about 5-7 miles a day.

Why is fitness important to preparedness?

Whether it be staying on the move to get to a new campsite or running from zombies fitness will be vital during the ZPoc.

Future marathon/event plans?

I plan on running the OZ Marathon again next year.

Scholz ran the marathon in 6:04:55.90, and Marchbanks ran the marathon in 6:04:55.84, which turns out to be just under a 14 minute mile for the 26.2, and it also means like true battle buddies, they stuck together, which aside from running away from Zombies might just be the most important part of surviving the Zpoc. Marchbanks had some Achilles/tendon issues around mile 14, which slowed them down quite a bit, but like true ZAI peeps, they stuck together and pushed through it.

They said they got pretty positive feedback on the ZAI gear they wore during the run, which hopefully is enough to reach a few folks and get them thinking about the Zpoc.

ERIC

ZAI

Here are some photos of them representing:

Here they are with their shirts fresh out of the mailbox.

Scholz and Marchbanks sporting ZAI "Marathon Team" shirts getting ready for a little 26.2 mile jaunt.

Marchbanks and Scholz doing their thing on the marathon.

Scholz and Marchbanks crossing the finish line together after 6 hours of running. They stuck it out, kept moving and stayed together. Key components in a Zpoc survival situation. Great job guys!

We had quite a few logos that we liked and had a hard time choosing the winners. Some of you are very talented and put together more than one logo for us. We had to disqualify a few for not following the rules, and one we didn’t post because it violated the copyrighted material rule. A couple were very good but we felt they were too complex to be a good logo. Thank you to everyone who submitted. Now here is the rundown of the winners.

#5 David Vallejo

#4 Aaron Gillihan

#3 Aaron Gillihan (again)

#2 Gary Rodosta

And the winner of our logo contest with our favorite of his entries is Aaron Gillihan.

Aaron Gillihan 3

#1 Aaron Gillihan: This is our new logo!

Thanks again to everyone who participated. Thanks again to Kershaw Knives USA and Baen Books for their support and for prizes. Head over to their websites and show them some love and tell them ZAI sent you. We hope you enjoyed this contest. We will be contacting the winners via email to get your prizes to you. Stay tuned for the next contest down the line. For those who feel they aren’t creative, we plan on doing some giveaways in the future that will require as little from you as leaving a comment on the website. Until then, Semper Vigilans, Semper Paratus!

David Vallejo 1

David Vallejo 2

David Vallejo 3

And these are only slightly different, with a bolder outline around the elements.

David Vallejo 4

David Vallejo 5

Oliver Montecito 1

Oliver Montecito 2

Dennis Martin 1

Dennis Martin 2