White Trash Zombie Apocalypse by Diana Rowland
(Description nicked from B&N.com.)
“Our favorite white trash zombie, Angel Crawford, has enough problems of her own, what with dealing with her alcoholic, deadbeat dad, issues with her not-quite boyfriend, the zombie mafia, industrial espionage and evil corporations. Oh, and it’s raining, and won’t let up.
But things get even crazier when a zombie movie starts filming in town, and Angel begins to suspect that it’s not just the plot of the movie that’s rotten. Soon she’s fighting her way through mud, blood, bullets and intrigue, even as zombies, both real and fake, prowl the streets.
Angel’s been through more than her share of crap, but this time she’s in way over her head. She’ll need plenty of brainpower to fit all the pieces—and body parts—together in order to save herself, her town, and quite possibly the human race.”
This is one of the series that really introduced me to the zombie genre (I’m not much for dead bodies, usually), and so I look forward to each new book. Rowland’s fictional version of the South with the undead is one of the more cohesive that I’ve read, and this book delves a bit deeper into the “zombie mafia”, the loose organization that looks out for and protects zombies from living humans. Angel gets to call on this group a couple of times in this book, and it’s interesting to see just how far their reach really is. There are also some tantalizing hints about how zombies interrelate that makes me curious to see what happens next.
For me, the strongest point of this series, and this book, is the character interactions between Angel and her friends and co-workers. It doesn’t feel overdone or too campy, and I like the banter that’s often present. Two relationships stand out in this book: her boyfriend Marcus is showing signs of wanting to control her actions more than is healthy, which she deals with over the course of the story; and she and her father go through a terrifying ordeal together and continue to improve things between them. I’ll say this—a certain scene between Angel and her father made me choke up a bit, and that’s always a sign of good writing!
My only complaint is that the plot is a little overly complex at times. When the story starts featuring real zombies masquerading as fake zombies playing the part of real zombies, well, that’s where I start looking back over previous pages to see if I missed something. Admittedly, I was more interested in the character interactions than in the “what’s going on” aspect of this novel, so that could just be me splitting hairs. The concept of hiding real zombies in plain sight as fake zombies is a good one, and it allowed the author to sneak a former antagonist back into the narrative, so I can’t complain too much. I did enjoy the read, despite a few “what the heck…?” moments.
If you’d like some smartassery with your undead, then look no further. White Trash Zombie Apocalypse delivers grit and gore in equal quantities, salting it with snappy dialogue and a main character that you can really root for. This is one of my favorite zombie series, so check it out now!