Series: White Trash Zombie #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by DAW on 25 May 2011
Angel Crawford is not your typical heroine – she dropped out of high school, is addicted to pills and is on probation for possessing stolen goods. She and her alcoholic dad live in squalor and she has a loser boyfriend, of sorts. In short, she is white trash. All this changes however when she wakes up in hospital after overdosing on drugs. Her memory may be distinctly fuzzy but she does remember being involved in a car crash. She receives a letter which tells her she has been given a new job as a driver for the coroner’s office and if she fails to turn up, there will be serious consequences. If that isn’t bizarre enough, her mysterious benefactor also gives her ‘protein shakes’ that she needs to take regularly. After the crash Angel starts to find the smell of bodies appetising and slowly realises that she has been turned into a zombie. Her ‘protein shakes’ were actually human brains that had been put through a blender. It might sound gross but to Angel, it smells like cookies and chocolate and other yummy foods.
Being a zombie is not all that bad as long as they have brains. Their personalities don’t change but they do get increased strength when they are full. Angel’s ‘condition’ helps her kick her habit because drugs and alcohol don’t have the same effect on zombies. Needing access to fresh bodies means that Angel cannot quit her job and slack off. She starts to build positive relationships for the first time in her life at work and they even begin to depend on her. Angel starts to question what she really wants from life and realises her current situation is not sufficient. Whoever turned her into a zombie actually saved her life. The big question is, who? At the same time, random bodies start showing up with heads missing and Angel decides to investigate – after all, she can’t have one of her kind raising eyebrows around town. Throw a potential love interest into the mix and you can see just how chaotic Angel’s life has become.
The plot focuses heavily on Angel and moves along at a fairly quick pace. I would have liked to know more about the zombies as Rowland’s take on them is fairly unusual. The humour also helps sets the novel apart from the crowd and makes the zombie condition a little more attractive. Let’s face it, failure to drink blood makes vampires a little weak and maybe paler, failure to eat brains means zombie’s bits start falling off. Ugh!
Some of the scenes involving autopsies and retrieving dead bodies are a bit gross so consider yourself warned. You also might want to refrain from eating while reading as zombie food comes in a variety of flavours. Seriously though, this is a great novel that will grab your attention just like the awesome cover art.