I invested in the Dead series right from the start and this review is intended to overview the entire 12 volumes. The early stanzas were right up there and TW Brown set a new standard against which to judge Zompoc writing - a lifetime achievement.
Unfortunately I think that, in retrospect at least, the 12-volume Dead concept was too ambitious against the time and deadlines required to maintain the saga's momentum. Starting in about Volume 7 or 8 its themes became increasingly busy and a plethora of characters thinned out into quests that, quite frankly, I struggled to follow. By Volume 10, my interest lagged and then practically sparked out, limping over the finish line at Vol 12 after sitting on my Kindle untouched for months.
Compared to their predecessors the later volumes possess a rushed quality: scenes are described more cursorily, dialog is edited down and time compressed.
Dead is thus a game of two-halves. The early volumes delivered solid and zombiecentric punches with a strong focus on raw human survival. Latterly the emphasis switched onto a kind of post-apoc inter-commune warfare, primitive rivalry with an odd-ball bounty-hunter thrown in. They failed to sustain my interest: sorry, but petty neo-tribal conflicts over beliefs and territorial claims aren't my cup of tea.
A hopefully constructive suggestion is to include in each volume a Cast of Characters So Far - or set up a Dead website where readers can refresh their memories about who these people are.