Friday, January 15, 2010

Soulless

Phoenix Cormier was never really close to her father. She's trying to make up for lost time and try to get to know him better by spending the summer with him. However, her father is a medium and writes books about ghosts, which consumes his life. She goes with him to a TV appearance where he and two other mediums are going to perform the biggest seance in history and allow viewers and audience members to contact the dead. This endeavor goes awry and leaves the three mediums plus the two TV hosts in a trance and unable to be moved. Plus the dead from the entire east coast has risen, hungry and longing for their loved ones. Follow Phoenix, two rival college students, a teen pop princess, and a gang banger as they battle to survive and stop the zombie apocalypse.

This book was a big surprise to me. As a young adult horror novel, I expected to see tame zombies with a minimum of violence and gore, like many YA zombie books. I was completely wrong. This is as gory if not more so than many adult horror novels I have read. Christopher Golden pushes the envelope with extreme zombie violence and bloody deaths. These zombies are unlike anything I have seen before. They are rotting corpses, but since they are reanimated essentially by magic, they are not limited by their deteriorated bodies. They can sprint (while making sense, unlike the Romero type zombies). They also evolve mentally to be able to set traps and lure their loved ones with actual memories from the deceased person. These aspects make these zombies so much scarier than their garden variety counterparts.

The characters were all believable and different in their reactions to the crumbling civilization around them. Most of the main characters were teens, which made for an interesting read. Most books like this are adult and focus on adults. I have never really seen the point of view of a teen in this sort of situation. It's similar to other novels in that they have to do horrible things for the greater good, get used to seeing and killing the undead, and try to figure out what actions they can live with in this savage world. The change in the characters from before the zombie apocalypse to after was engaging and interesting to read. This book has all I hope for in any horror novel.

I really like this novel. The only problem I had with it was that the ending seemed a little too rushed. It could easily have been 50 pages longer without dragging. I hope I get to see more of this type of horror from the young adult genre.

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins

5 comments:

Zombie Girrrl said...

First thought: Oh, wrong Soulless (I was thinking Gail Carriger).
Second thought: Ooh, zombies!
This sounds really good. I don't normally go for magic zombies, I prefer viral, but this one sounds good. And I love that it's YA and still totally gruesome.
Great review, as usual. :)

vvb32 reads said...

ooo, good one to feature for the september zombies. definitely not the usual zombies on the lawn.

Nina said...

Sounds great! A little bit scary, but good!!!
Thanks for the great review.

slayground said...

Christopher Golden is a fantastic author, and Soulless is one of my favorite books of his. I call it a movie in a book. :) He's written for adults, teens, and kids, and always hits each audience so well.

Mary Ann DeBorde said...

Hi Titania :) Excellent review, btw! I'd love to read this, sounds like another good book to add to my (ever growing) TBR list.

PS - I truly LOVE your blogname, "Fishmuffins of Doom" is awesome thinking!!

And I'm visiting from vvb32~