Cover Image: The Deading

The Deading

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Ominous dark and twisted seaborne zombie novel. Very well done with creepy apocalypse cults( thanks for the arc.

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The author has done a thorough research as it has reflected in his writing. I felt the book was frightening and filled with dreadful descriptions of every little thing. The characters were interesting . The pace was medium. The writing is gripping, flowery and very insightful. In a small fishing town, an evil emerges from the ocean and grips everyone. The strange infection leads to Deading and due to strange happenings in the town, the government separates the town to be able to protect other people. The book can give nightmares to someone who is afraid of ocean creatures. This is a dystopian book and it is about survival, adaptation and accepting the reality. It certainly has horror elements with several twists.

Many Thanks to the Author, Publisher and Netgalley.

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This is genuinely a wonderful story. The Deading is one of the best pieces of literary horror I have read. It guides you through so many emotions and inner demons of all the characters. From the young to the old, The Deading highlights the differences of what age and time can do to change the strengths and compassion of an individual. While priorities are always different when we grow older, the basic need to survive and to be loved… never changes. Belardes reminds us that even though we have faults, we are each unique and have the capabilities to survive difficulties and come out stronger and better. 

This is a strong character-driven narrative with some ornithology, creature features, and suspense. Under the watchful eye of the government, a small sea-side town tries to survive an infliction upon them. The people are changing. The once quiet and calm town has become a ruthless and dangerous community. The anxiety and stress of living in this changed town takes a toll on so many.

This is not a story to read quickly. It is best to take your time and enjoy the words. You can look up some of the birds talked about, giving an extra visual picture to the scenes. It will be easy to become attached to the main characters. Belardes makes sure we understand the person and their actions.

If you enjoy a deep story with lots of twists and turns and if you are patient for amazing twists all throughout the story, then this book is for you. I highly recommend slowly devouring every morsel of this amazing story.

#NetGalley #TheDeading

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This book had a really interesting cover and description that immediate drew me in. I really enjoy sort of unsettling books and so I was really hoping to love this book.

Unfortunately, I DNFed about 20% into the book. There was just an overload of information about birds and oysters which drew me out of what was happening in the story. I found myself having to reread lines in order to actually absorb what was happening. I was also not a big fan of the characters whose POV we’re reading from. I didn’t like the way Bernhard went on and on about the scientist and about he doesn’t care about listening to her. As for Chango, he’s just so mean to his younger brother which I didn’t like. I don’t like the way he just tore apart Blas’ interests, I found it really hard to relate and sympathize with him in that moment.

Both of those things coupled together are the reason for my DNF. I really wanted to like this book but I just could not keep going.

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I gave The Deading 2/5 stars.

This book seemed very unpolished to me. The disease / entity that attacks the townspeople was very confusing to me and didn’t see any resolution at the end of the book. The story was told in alternating first and third person perspectives with no initial indicator of whose view you were reading from, which I found tough to follow. There was a lot of unnecessary commentary on birds, and other creatures that did not offer much to advance the plot. At about 60% through, this book suddenly picks up and gets really interesting before rapidly dropping back off. It just felt like this book had a number of potentially good plot lines and ideas, but failed to follow through on any of them in a significant way. The ending of the book didn’t really serve to complete the story line or offer any resolution either.

Overall, I’m thankful to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this arc, but will not be picking up a copy for my personal collection.

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A genuinely unsettling vision of the future. A prescient book, reminiscent of the great post-apocalyptic books of our times, like Station Eleven but more brutal.

The opening chapter does a great job in setting up the tone of the book, and the rest of the book follows through. The characters are beautifully etched out, and the setting feels real, lived in. I'd love to read more from Nicholas Belardes.

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The concept of this books was so interesting!! It started of, quite difficult to understand but after reading 70 or so pages the story finally became clear to me. The writing style reminds me a bit of Mona Awad. Which is (in my opinion) a compliment. I’d rate the book 3.5 because of the difficulty getting into it.

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Thank you to Netgalley for providing an Advanced Readers Copy of this book in exchange for a review.

DNF at 14% of the way through. Sorry, I tried but I could not bring myself to continue without it seeming like a chore. I really wanted to like this book but i did not.

I’d like to start this review by starting with the positives. When requesting this book, the cover instantly took my fancy. It is beautiful and I love the colour scheme of it. The colours didn’t clash on the cover and went well together with the font. The description as well also pulled me in. With the small descriptions we did get through the book, I quiet enjoyed the imagery shown and how is easily gripped me.

With all the above said, let’s move on to the aspects of the book that I enjoyed less AKA the negative part of the review. Now some of what I want to say may not be negative but others may be. This is just my opinion so take it with a pinch of salt.

There were times where I felt like there was some serious info dumping and it made me overwhelmed to say the least. Some of the information I felt like we didn’t need to know and could be weaved into the narrative as it made me skim over them. The info dumping made it seem like I was reading a text book instead of a novel. There were also some small parts while reading that I felt were ‘told’ outright to us, like the author/narrator telling us a character saying something in a current scene where it can be shown the character said/done such thing instead.

I did want to stop reading once I got to the end of chapter one but I kept reading in hopes I would enjoy it after. I really did try but I just couldn’t. The side characters I felt were ‘forgettable’. I probably don’t remember but I don’t think I know what any of them look like especially the people the main character works with. I found myself not remembering who these people were when their names came up as well.

There were also times where some sentences read as if we were reading from the middle of one instead of a complete sentence. One example would be where sentences started with ‘Has’ or some variant of that. I do feel like some of the sentences could be reworded so they didn’t feel odd or out of place. I also felt like the chapters didn’t flow well from each other and the timeline threw me off as it seemed to me we were thrown from one scene to another scene? It just confused me a little as well.

Overall, I’d rate this book a two out of five stars. I just couldn’t get past 14% on this book.

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1.75 stars, rounded off to 2.
thanks NetGalley for an ARC of this novel.
Story starts with a gloomy atmosphere in this town with people trying to imitate dying for a while and attacked by something in strange way which did not make any sense to me throughout the novel.
Reminds me of a book by Blake Crouch in which people saw some light and started hunting the others who did not see that light. same case was here but its like the dome, in which only this town was kept isolated with depressing gov tactics and drone surveillance, which was totally absurd.
it was like to make a point in a story or make it very dystopian you just changed the world very dramatic.it was melancholic setting or tries very hard to be one.
there were some POVs to carry forward the story and they all begin without even a single hint of who is talking lol.Timeline was very confusing from the beginning itself and adding other characters did not help a bit.
and in the last i want to point out about all the unnecessary info on the birds and nature, it was so irritating after sometime that i had to speed read it. this novel gets exciting a bit after 70% and gets slow down even faster. And there were no explanation or a closure or even a good ending.(Mic drop)

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3.75 stars, rounded up to 4.

Thank you to NetGalley and Erewhon Books for an ARC of this novel.

The story is about this town that is essentially attacked by some entity, causing people to start "deading," where they gruesomely convulse and seem to die, only to come back alive...but they are not the same. Soon the government quarantines the town, and two factions form...the Risers, who are the ones who "dead," and those who don't, who are fighting to escape and survive.

First of all, this book was definitely not what I expected. It had so much more depth than I anticipated, and it's one I'll be thinking about for months. The POV is told in alternating third and first person, depending on the characters, which I thought was interesting and not something I've really encountered.
There was a lot of graphic body horror that was terrifying. I had a lot of feelings of hopelessness and fear of society in the wake of such an event.

While reading, I was reminded of so many creepy tv/films while reading this, such as The Last of Us, The Time Machine, Red Dawn, Midsommer, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (just the culty religion part, with their rituals). The isolation and creepy atmosphere was really well done.

I did find the timeline a bit confusing, and it was a tad heavy on the info dump about birds and oyster farms, but once past those parts the book is very thought-provoking and terrifying.

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This was interesting, a twist on sci-fi, but not as horrific as I hoped. In a world of stories like “the last of us”, this book serves as a companion

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I am not a huge sci-fi fan, but this is just the type of story to entice me to step out of my comfort zone. A beach town become infected with a contagion and it quickly takes over everything and everyone. It’s creepy, it’s disturbing but it keeps you horrifically glued to the story.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for this opportunity to read rate and review this arc which will be available July 23,2024!

This was a well written atmospheric horror read. Tag line says it is a mix of The Last of Us (video game) and Under The Done by Stephen King. It shows the utter breakdown of society, what we would do to survive and how nature reclaims it all.


I got bored in a few places but that is on me as I tend to get bored when the plot gets worst but overall I thoroughly enjoyed myself

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I got 20% through and had to DNF this one, it’s not for me and I found it really hard to get into. There’s a lot of scientific language and discussion of birds so far. The horror scene I did make it to was beautifully written and easy to picture so I have no doubt that readers more interested in the nature and science facts will find this more appealing than I did.

Thank you NetGalley and Erewhon/Kensington Books for this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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I wouldn’t recommend eating any seafood while reading this!

An alien pandemic causes widespread environmental horror, leaving two brothers to face the ugliness of humanity in times of distress.

This book freaked me out. It made my skin crawl. The graphic descriptions of body horror and frequent triggers of our deep primal fear of rotting disease ridden creatures come together to paint a nightmare straight from our human psyche. Death is far from the end, and our list of trusted companions are few and far between. I lost sleep over this.

Leaving Belardes’ brilliant atmospheric horror aside, this story holds up a mirror to our society, forcing us to reflect on our own worldwide tragedies. Themes like activism, bullying, and cult-like communities bring light to the realities we face, adding dark complexity to our tribulations. Simply put, I straddle between hope and fear in our humanity. I fear our reactions, more than a pandemic itself, yet I have hope in community and selfless acts of kindness. History holds examples of both. Let’s hope we learn our lessons soon.

Brilliant story. A bit too heavy on the science at times, but it adds a layer of realism Sci-Fi fans will enjoy. I expect this book to be very popular upon release.

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for this ARC.

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I just couldn't get into this story. The characters grated on my nerves. This felt like it was written for a younger audience so it may have ended up being better, but I just wasn't in the mood for it.

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“It’s like they’re deading.” in other words: Uh-oh. 😫

Can you imagine bodies going still, mouths foaming, eyes rolling back, people dropping dead (or so it seems) and then they come back like nothing happened? Yeah, they are just "deading".

Nicholas Belardes's debut novel "The Deading" is a twisted, strange, fascinating story. From the get-go, I liked the atmospheric tension of the story, how it alternated between a few characters' POVs and how their fear was so desperate, crippling and paralysing to read, while they still try to understand what's going on and how this new disease "the deading" came around.

The plot was dark, but undeniably thought-provoking. We get to experience different stories, happening at the same time, and how these characters come across their worst nightmares 1) trying to not get infected by this contagious disease that's terrifying, irreversible and gruesome, 2) staying alive and not be condemned by the new town leadership - the Risers or Deaders, who lost their minds and turned against each other 😅 and 3) trying to make their way out of Baywood, their hostile town, also quarantined by artificial intelligence.

For me, it definitely kept me on my toes and it almost felt like watching an all-out horror pandemic movie in my mind.

If you are into frightening tales, check this one out in July 2024! 🖤 #TheDeading

Huge thanks to Kensington/Erewhon Books and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Reading this had me holding my breath. I caught myself worried about life in Baywood!
Isolating Baywood from the rest of the world reminded me of life during covid but it was much much worse. People started turning against each other and the road to survival is unknown.
Its my first time reading horror and it didn’t disappoint.
Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for this ARC.

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I have to say that I tried something new with the horror genre and the blurb sounded interesting enough for me to pick it up. Unfortunately this won't be my preferred genre in the future but rating this from an objective point, it was a good book! The horror aspects were there and sometimes you felt uncomfortable reading the book in the best way possible. It felt a bit out of time and space even though it was mentioned and actually limited. Overall a good read for anyone who's into this genre!

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Thanks to Kensington/Erewhon and NetGalley for this ARC of The Deading by Nicholas Belardes.

I see the blurb likens 'The Deading' to Stephen King's 'Under the Dome' and 'The Last of Us.' I'd add Jeff VanderMeer's novels and William Golding's 'The Lord of the Flies' in there as well.

A bizarre influx of aquatic snails heralds the disintegration of society in a small coastal town and what was previously a social-media driven craze of pretending to be dead becomes a real thing. Fearful of it spreading, the town is locked down with deadly force being used to monitor and maintain the 'border..'

The immune few are ostracized and then targeted by new town leadership - the Risers - previously the Goth girls in the high school. All this told through a constant theme of birdwatching and bird behavior. We get to experience this through several key characters - the owner of the oyster farm who becomes host to the million year-old alien intelligence who, we assume, triggered all of this; Blas, a young Latino birdwatcher, his brother Chango and his mother, Maria; three older birdwatchers including a Japanese-American woman who's grieving her dead husband.

It's a mad book, although it's set in a very specific place it feels very unsettled in place an time and although it could be set in the very present day, given the surveillance equipment available to the 'Faceless' authorities, it's likely in the near future.

I have to admit to skimming much of the birdwatching parts but it's an intriguing and, as I said, unsettling book.

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