Book Twirps | 05 February 2013 | O'Dell

The Story

When B hears the stories of a zombie invasion in Ireland, it all sounds like a hoax. Surely it has to be some viral marketing ploy for a TV show or movie. B is more concerned with keeping peace with dear old (uber-racist and uber-abusive) Dad. A majority of the story (at least 85% of it) has to do with B being a jerk, struggling with dear-old-Dad’s racism, and then turning around and being racist against the ethnic kids at school. The zombies are mentioned here and there as news reports file in, but the real zombie showdown doesn’t begin until much later in the book.

 

The Setting

The book is set in England, not far from the small village in Ireland where the zombie reports are coming from. The city feels familiar and could really be any middle-class town in the world.

 

The Characters

Sadly, I didn’t relate to any of the characters. B was a jerk, and B’s father was a racist. Even though B had an issue with “Dad’s” racism, it came out in spades at school. Finally, when the Zombies come into play, B has to work with kids of other races to make it out of the school alive, and there’s this moment of camaraderie. Problem was, I didn’t want B to survive, and it just seemed too little, too late.

 

The Execution

This one was very slow to start. The prologue was promising — kind of old school Night of the Living Dead — until the creepy old dude that seemed to have some sort of control over the zombies came into the picture. That just confused me. Then the story jumps to B, and we spend 85 – 90% of the book learning about B’s home and school life, and B’s relationship with friends/classmates. As I mentioned earlier, B’s father is a huge racist asshat, and even though this supposedly bothers B, it doesn’t prevent B from bullying or acting racist toward others. I know it was supposedly because B wanted to make Dad proud, but really? When the zombies finally make it to B’s school, I was so over B’s antics that I didn’t care. Even though the book is very short, it took far too long for the real action to kick in. This has a different take on zombies, which I am open to, but I’m not sure how I feel about the whole magical dudes (or whatever they were ) controlling the zombies. There’s also a “twist” with B, that left me scratching my head. I don’t want to give it away since the author was so careful to avoid it for most of the book. I think it was supposed to add a bit of surprise, but it totally fell flat with me.

 

Final Verdict

Honestly, I really didn’t like this one at all (in case the rest of the review didn’t clue you in on that). The writing was fine, but the story was bad. The real zombie action didn’t come into play until much too late in the story. This is the first in a series, and while I want to think maybe it will begin to come together in subsequent books, I just can’t bring myself to pick up book two just yet. Maybe someday… maybe.

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