Blog Archives

Death’s Cheat

Jed Cullen Author Interview

Zaven follows a group of high school friends who are in the middle of a Zombie pandemic and must rely on each other for survival.  What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Funnily enough, being bored with my friends during high school gave me the ideas for the book. A lot of characters in the book are based off my school mates. When they read it, I hope they don’t find themselves too difficult to stomach.

How do you balance story development with shocking plot twists? Or can they be the same thing?

I start with the ending in mind. Zaven is the first book in a sequel and I have the final conclusion being the key aspect that I strive towards. With an ending developed first, the story balance and twists are quite simple to implement.

 What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

My main theme was the definition of a Zombie. Ultimately, Tyler is the true zombie throughout the book as he blindly follows other’s advice without any contextual knowledge. Since Zaven is written in first person from Tyler’s perspective, the reader get’s the story through his eyes… This makes the reader as blindsided as Tyler. Overall, poor decisions result from poor observation.

The other main theme is Death’s cheat. It is symbolised time and time again throughout the book, though, readers will have to look deeper to find the meaning.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am currently working on the sequel to Zaven. It will likely not be available for a while due to my commitment to work. Nonetheless, the story is mapped out and there will be no loose ends. It will come full circle and answer all possible questions.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Detention on your first day of High School is one thing, but your teacher trying to eat you is a bit over the top… Set in Florida, America, Tyler Graham and his friends must band together and survive a zombie pandemic where lawlessness and violence becomes a new means of morality.


Zaven, written by Jed Cullen, starts us off with Tyler and his friends heading to their first day of school. The day starts relatively typical, but Jake, one of Tyler’s friends, is picked on by a new kid. Their friend, Eli, saves Jake from the massive new student. The day continues as usual, but Tyler gets into trouble and is told to go to detention that afternoon. Tyler skips detention to hang out with his friend at their treehouse. While they are there, an announcement is broadcasted over their radio, informing everyone that there is an outbreak of the virus that originated in Russia. This leads Tyler and his friends to fend for themselves and stick together as much as possible. Life with zombies has its challenges.

The plot is magnificent and leads to a spectacular ending. The plot twist really shocked me, and I loved it! Not what I expected at all. The characters were exceptionally well thought out as well. I could feel the emotions of the characters as they felt them. Tyler’s character surprised me a bit when he made a snap decision, but I think it fits his personality perfectly. Rufus was probably the most shocking character to read about out of all of them. You will need to read this book to see why I say that!

There were only a few things I didn’t like. First, I feel like they should have met more survivors. The action was a little slow to come by, but it was great once it happened. I also noticed a few British terminologies used in the book. That is ok, but I think if it is supposed to take place in the USA, it should contain US terminology.

Zaven is an exciting zombie thriller that will give readers an unexpected plotline. Keeping some traditional elements of zombie novels and adding new twists, Jed Cullen has created memorable characters that readers will want to root for and be anxious to see how the story ends. I would recommend it to a friend that loves books with zombies!  

Pages: 302 | ASIN : B0BG7R944H

Buy Now From Amazon
%d bloggers like this: