You know I am a sucker for free and cheap. So, if there is something remotely interesting in the Amazon "free" queue for Kindle, I am "buying" it.
That's how I came across Mark Henry's Battle of the Network Zombies. It reads mostly like Chick Lit. which I said in my last post is generally written by women for women. Well, generally doesn't mean always, and in the more important ways this book fits the bill. This book is about a former advertising executive who has become a zombie and turned several friends into zombies as well. Less comprehensible is why her Mom and a gay male friend are vampires.
On Amazon.com Publishers Weekly states:
Clever, fast-paced, and so delightfully trashy that it should have been printed on Hefty bags, Henry's third Amanda Feral novel (after 2009's Road Trip of the Living Dead) smartly skewers popular culture. Henry gleefully delivers a sharp-edged, snarky whodunit with some smart and funny twists. (Mar.)
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Snarky: Yup they got that one right.
Clever: in a way that insults my intelligence and senses. The most clever things in the book are the abilities of the wood nymph character to manipulate the plants to his bidding and an interesting form of blasphemous phraseology (Christ on a Cracker). Please note, it is not my religious side that calls these blasphemous but society.
Not so clever in its unnecessary gore, and inconsistencies about what zombies can and can not do or feel.
Fast paced: I finished it quickly just to get through it, but it is filled with frantic and confusing action. Also fast paced, because you don't get much in the way of back story. And much of it needs the support of the back story. Without the back story there is just not that much to read.
This book felt like an afterthought to the first two, which I have not read and except for delightfully, the reviewer has the trashy part pegged. Now, I like my trashy books. They are a guilty little secret (not anymore I guess), but to be trashy and get away with it an author has to make me care about the characters. These characters have no redeeming qualities; they are about as likeable as Updike's "Witches of Eastwick." So it it's not just that it is trashy; I am known to enjoy books so trashy I turn my Kindle off if someone starts to ask what I am reading. Battle of the Network Zombies is trashy in a way that would make me turnmy Kindle off because I would be embarrassed to be caught reading it - not because the contents made me blush but because it is trashy like Homer Simpson at Hooters.
Any character/relationship development, say between the main character, Amanda Feral, and her boyfriend Scott, a Wolf Shifter, must occur off screen because I don't see it. There is no reason why, outside of intercourse, the characters are together, have sex, break up or get back together. Plus, the character describes her rotting repulsiveness as a Zombie in one breath and her breathtaking figure and beauty in another. She has no remorse in killing humans for food and brags about doing it in poor neighborhoods where the population is comprised of poor immigrants and day laborers. Great, I am sure she would be a hit on Fox News.
Note to authors: In selling books on Kindle, make the first one in the series free. It is usually the one that makes us clamor for more and then we'll at least buy the next one. If, like with this, you make the last on free, you have just lost two sales. It may also be a good way to learn if you should write the series or cut your losses and go back to tending bar.
So, on the Chick-Scale I give this three rotten eggs. If I had not gotten it for free I would be cursing myself for wasting the money.