A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{October 31, 2010}   Zombie Blondes by Brian James

Plot: Hannah and her Dad move often and suddenly, always keeping one step ahead of their debts. Their most recent move has taken them to Mapplecrest, a small town littered with For Sale signs. She can tell right away that the town is dying, what she doesn’t know is how right she is. She is quickly befriended by a strange outcast boy. Lukas tells her that the perfect, beautiful and nearly identical cheerleaders are actually zombies feeding off the populace. And they plan on making her one of them.

I was a little disappointed in this book. I read it for my little bit of Halloween horror but if the point was to scare me, to have me sitting on the edge of my chair, it completely failed. There isn’t any actual zombie action until 200 pages in, and let me remind you that this book has less than 230 pages. But that’s not bad in and of itself. Some of the best horror doesn’t show you the beast until the end, if ever. The key to making that kind of horror work is suspense, a constant feeling of threat. And that is what this book is lacking.

You know there are zombies and that they are after Hannah. Of course you know, Lukas tells you right at the start and all his theories turn out to be 100% correct. But Hannah dismisses him and goes on with life as normal. She stumbles across the occasional hint that something is amiss but she explains those away too. What we are left with is that story of a rather superficial girl going about her daily school life and trying to fit into the popular crowd. There is value in books like that but I have to like the characters, which I don’t really, and that isn’t really what the premise promises.

At best this is a social commentary about how the in-crowd are identical zombies preying on those weaker than them. If you’re looking for an exciting zombie story, save yourself some time and skip to the last four chapters. Or read Boneshaker.


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