Book Review: This Dark Earth

  • Review: This Dark Earth
  • Series: –
  • Author: John Hornor Jacobs
  • No of Pages: 352
  • Publication: July 3rd 2012 by Gallery Books


The land is contaminated, electronics are defunct, the ravenous undead remain, and life has fallen into a nasty and brutish state of nature. Welcome to Bridge City, in what was once Arkansas: part medieval fortress, part Western outpost, and the precarious last stand for civilization. A ten-year-old prodigy when the world ended, Gus is now a battle-hardened young man. He designed Bridge City to protect the living few from the shamblers eternally at the gates. Now he’s being groomed by his physician mother, Lucy, and the gentle giant Knock-Out to become the next leader of men. But an army of slavers is on its way, and the war they’ll wage for the city’s resources could mean the end of mankind as we know it.

Can Gus become humanity’s savior? And if so, will it mean becoming a dictator, a martyr . . . or maybe something far worse than even the zombies that plague the land?

My thoughts:

This is a deeply dark and twisted book and I LOVED IT! My heart was literally pounding out of my chest throughout the entire read. It kept me not on the edge of my seat but literally out of my chair! There was no sitting but there was lots of screaming at the book, the characters in the book and at John Hornor Jacobs for being able to get to a part of me that most horror books just can not get to. It’s simply amazing.

This Dark Earth starts in a hospital. Ok, you may think. A lot of zombie outbreaks start in hospitals, nothing special there. Until he takes you through a series of slowly this situation is getting worse scenarios. You can see how the people are thinking and you can feel what they feel, every thought is produced eloquently. One of the main characters, Lucy, just happens to be a doctor and while chaos is near to breaking out she is trying to figure out what in the hell is going on! She is using her analytical skills to assess the patients that are currently freaking out in the waiting room and although there are many, she decides to help a woman that is desperately clutching to her six month old child.

This is the first you get to see of John Hornor’s amazing writing. Lucy sees that the child has something rare but wants to continue analyzing. But as chaos is starting to reign down, the baby dies. As she, another doctor friend and the mother try to figure out what is going on, the child revivified. (My new favorite word, he uses it a few times!) So here we are still in the first freaking chapter, all hell is about to break loose and an INFANT just turned into a zombie! Does it get any better? Well, or worse if you’re actually IN the situation. YES! John Hornor Jacobs takes us even further down the rabbit hole. As if that’s even possible, right? Well apparently it is.

Remember guys, I know I’m gushing here but this is just the first freaking chapter! Lucy, her friend Knockout and a few others spend the rest of the novel fighting zombies and slavers for their lives. It’s gut-wrenching, make you want to stay up until dawn reading because there is no way on this earth that I’m putting this book down NOW!

The characters are believable, the plot is simply out of this world and easy to read although heart poundingly excruciating in some parts. I just made poundingly up but I don’t even care! Where Patient Zero had a lot of military aspects about it, This Dark Earth has humanity and craziness. And of course the lack of humanity. Not that you can compare these two because they both have strengths in different ways and they’re both just hands down fabulous zombie reads!

Only downside? I have to think a bit here but to be honest, I wanted a bit more at the ending. Just a little bit. But I’m really hoping this is going to be part of a series because if John Hornor Jacobs lets us down where it’s at, I may go cry. I need more zombies… like now.

Since I’m going through withdrawals, do you guys recommend any zombie books?

And a huge thank you goes out to John Hornor Jacobs for allowing me to read his fabulous book. But in no way was I paid for this review. I just seriously love horror and zombies. Like seriously!


  1. This is on my TBR list! I generally don\’t go for horror novels, but I am intrigued by the premise and looking forward to reading it. Have you read Robin Becker’s ”Brains” book? It’s a great zombie book too because it’s got a different spin. Worth checking out.

    1. Ohhh! I will have to look that up. I love anything zombies 😀 plus I am a huge horror fan so that helps. Seriously though, this book is intense, if you don’t like horror try taking it in spurts. It’s definitely worth it!

  2. […] This Dark Earth by John Hornor Jacobs (Review) […]

  3. […] This Dark Earth by John Horner Jacobs! (INT) Check out my review. […]

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