The zombies are pretty creepy, although the addition of the cult is what REALLY makes the whole thing terrifying. Again, the zombies aren't the focal point. They are a bit distinct from the zombies I've encountered in other novels. These are a bit shambly and slow, but they are crazy strong, and almost impossible to dispatch. These zombies, like the origin of the world 'zombie,' are based on voodoo legend. One thing I'm bothered by is the use of the word zombie. It seems that its usage did originate in roughly that time period, but it still felt weird to hear people talking about the Confederacy and zombies in one breath.
The creepy factor they definitely got down, as well as the western bits and the steampunkery with the vehicle and the science. I would have liked to see a bit more humor in it, though. Nothing in the book really made me laugh, and this is a premise that would definitely have been improved with humor. I mean, any gender bender ought to have some amount of humor, because there are so many confusions that can happen.
I read this book in just a couple of hours, one sitting. It's a really fun read, but there wasn't too much more to it for me. Character development is seriously lacking. Both Jett and Gibbons are seriously hardcore women, and, of course, I liked that. However, they were still lacking in any real depth. And they were the best-developed characters. White Fox completely lacks personality. Seriously. He was like so boring. I was also a little confused about why his character was a white man raised by an Indian tribe, rather than just being native. There could have been diversity here, but there isn't.
The other thing about this, which makes me suspect they may be planning to make this a series, is that there are a lot of dropped plot threads. Jett never finds her brother. Despite some comments about how attractive the characters are and some foreshadowing of romance, nothing ever comes close to happening in that department. It just didn't really feel finished to me.
Still, if you want a mindless (zombie pun) read with lots of zombie action that you can dispatch quickly, Dead Reckoning will definitely fulfill your needs. I don't recommend this to anyone looking for a dark, witty, impressively-written novel; this is for fun only.