Friday, April 4, 2014

Flip this Zombie by Jesse Petersen

 It's a bit disappointing when an author begins with a good gimmick, but fails to follow through. Some of the Pratchett Discworld novels have lost their sense of humor at the midpoint, and Tom Kratman's very intriguing use of the final sentence of each chapter to set the scene for the first sentence in the next chapter was fun to dissect, until he abruptly stopped doing it. In the Living with the dead series, the really cute bit was the motivational saying at the beginning of each chapter; in Married with Zombies they were about marriage counseling and relationships, and this one started out with business slogans, but the connection to zombies became very tenuous after the first chapter, which had the heading, "Do what you love, and the zombies will follow."

Sarah and Dave have shifted south, just like the snowbirds, to Arizona to avoid the cold winters of the Northwest, and have established a reputation as very good zombie killers. They begin to hear rumors of "bionic" zombies, which are much more aware of their surroundings than ordinary shamblers, and faster, too. The pair are contacted by a scientist, Dr. Kevin Barnes, a survivor living in a pre-Apocalypse military facility and asked to help him by capturing zombies instead of killing them, they are initially reluctant to help, even though he shows them his serum which can restore zombie guinea pigs (I know, right?) back to normal life.

The clinching argument, however, turns out to be a hot shower for Sarah. Electricity and hot and cold running water have gotten scarce since the zombie plague, and the chance to get clean and smell good trumps all. During their first outing to capture a fresh zombie for Kevin, the duo rescue a 12 year old boy, Robby, who is being chased by a pair of zombies, and keep him from being eaten. He is so grateful to them that...Naw, he's actually a rotten little conniving brat who demands a share of the proceeds from the captured zombie which he "led to them." They end up dragging him back to the secret underground lair of the mad scientist, and he tags along on their next excursion as well.

Again, some fun zombie killing action, some snarky dialogue, and a believable protagonist duo make this an entertaining and very quick read - took me about three hours from start to finish.

And there's a sequel.

1 comment:

Tom Kratman said...

Ah, I still do it; I just don't do it all the time. Instead, I try to make the "rhyming" - because that is more or less what it is - be ideas or emotions or something a little more subtle. When I do the word trick, of late, it's likely as not to be because I couldn't do a more subtle rhyme. Not saying i always succeed, but that's the general direction of the effort.