Book Notification

Z.A. Recht Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Morningstar Strain Books

Plague of the Dead (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thunder and Ashes (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Survivors (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Healers (By: Brad Munson) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hunters (By: Brad Munson) (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Z.A. Recht was an author best known for his trilogy of zombie-themed books. Recht only wrote two of the three books in his trilogy before passing away. The few years the author spent in the publishing arena were enough to earn him the love and devotion of many fans


Z.A. Recht was born in 1983 in Bunker Hill in West Virginia. It wasn’t always obvious that the author would take the route of publishing. A student of Powhatan High School, Recht knew from a young age that education, at least the conventional kind, wasn’t for him.

The decision to enroll in the army might have seemed like an odd one to some, but it paid off in the long run. Z.A. Recht began his stint in the Army by completing boot camp at Fort Jackson. Eventually graduating as squad leader, the author quickly proved his mettle as a soldier, going so far as to win a sharpshooter competition.

Upon leaving the army, Z.A. Recht began pursuing writing as a career. His biggest break was when he joined a newspaper in West Virginia called ‘The Journal’ as a staff writer. By this time, the author had already begun planning for his ‘Morningstar Strain’ trilogy, with the first book finally hitting the shelves in 2006.

The author was lucky enough to gain quick success as a horror writer. By the time his second novel was finished in 2008, the author had acquired a publishing deal with Permuted Press and Simon & Schuster.

Recht passed away in 2009. The author’s struggles with addiction were no secret. Z.A. Recht had nurtured a dependency on sedatives and pain relievers, and his habits elicited a lot of legal complications for him.

In fact, the author was once arrested when he tried to get his fix by breaking into a doctor’s office to get the drugs he needed; that was in 2008. Since his passing, the cause of Recht’s death has largely remained a mystery.

The author’s parents were unwilling to divulge the details surrounding his death. All that fans know is the fact that Recht was found dead in his home. It has been speculated that the author’s drug habits might have played a role in his passing.

Fortunately, Recht’s fans have largely maintained a level of decency and respect in this area, refraining from gossiping and spreading rumors about what they think killed him.

Recht, who was only twenty-six at the time of his death, enjoyed a great relationship with his fans. He often interacted with them not only on social media but through the Morningstar Saga Website and Message boards.

The author’s books are apocalyptic in nature, exploring the manner in which the world changes when a virus is unleashed which turns people into flesh consuming zombies. Recht’s books endeavor to explore the effects of the virus globally, this while approaching the story from the perspectives of different groups of characters.

Z.A. Recht’s death was met with anxiety amongst fans who couldn’t fathom the prospect of the Morningstar Trilogy going unfinished. Fortunately, this was one fear they did not have to worry about. The final book in the Morningstar series was eventually published in 2012, written by Tom Brannan, who is not only a reputable author but a fan of Recht’s work.

+Plague of the Dead

The world was ended by a virus the likes of which humanity had never seen. Those infected manifested fevers, deliriums and even violent behavior before finally dying. But that was only the beginning.

The dead rose again, and they walked the earth devouring any that fell before them. There were attempts to contain the plague, a military operation that should have stopped it. But the epidemic would not be hindered, eventually going global.

In no time at all, life changed. All the amenities of comfort and luxury were stripped away. All that remained was the visceral drive to survive and, if necessary, kill.

Two factions struggle to make it through the end of the world. There’s the general trying to turn the remnants of his command into combat proficient survivors.

Then there’s the army colonel who will stop at nothing to reveal the dark secrets of the Morningstar virus.

This is one of those books that has little gray area; readers either absolutely love it or completely loathe it. The story definitely manifests a number of weaknesses. The characters do not act as intelligently as one might expect in their efforts to contain the zombie threat.

Z.A. Recht’s approach to the zombie genre is unique in that he chooses to focus on the military reaction to the outbreak. Most zombie stories prefer to explore the struggles of the ordinary folk that must survive in an extraordinary world.

In that regard, one might argue that Recht’s approach is bold, though it didn’t earn him many new fans. It doesn’t help the author’s case that so many of his military characters are the same.

And the military slang and jargon come off as a little cheesy. It could be argued that Recht’s idea of research was to watch as many military-oriented movies as he possibly could.

Recht’s saving grace is his writing style which is smooth and fast paced. Recht endeavors to deliver a fun and entertaining ride, and he more or less succeeds, at least for those readers that have the capacity to ignore this book’s glaring weaknesses.

+Thunder and Ashes

In three months, the Morningstar Virus has gone global, turning the earth’s populace into rampaging zombies. Those few survivors that are willing to fight congregate into groups.

Some just want to see another sunrise, and they begin to collect and hoard food and weapons. Others think they can fight back, especially if they can find a cure to the ravaging effects of the Morningstar Virus.

This book succeeds in raising the threat level of Recht’s story. Recht does this by making the human beings an even scarier threat than the zombies. Despite being the second book in a series, Thunder and Ashes maintains the action and pace of its predecessor.

The improvements in Z.A. Recht’s writing style are difficult to ignore, and they definitely add to this sequel’s entertainment value.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Z.A. Recht

Leave a Reply