Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Hour of the Undead

Amanda Feral is a zombie. No, not a Night of the Living Dead, dressed in ugly tattered clothes type of zombie. She is an alcohol guzzling, sassy, fashionable, executive zombie. Oh, and she eats people too. She and her (almost) equally fabulous friends, vampire Gil and fellow zombie Wendy, are trying to find their incubus friend Liesl, who disappeared after sending a text message simply reading “help.” This coupled with the fact that other supernaturals have been going missing as well makes them worry. Amanda and her friends realize they don’t know very much about Liesl and go on a search for more information. A lead takes Amanda to a very powerful woman named Elizabeth Karkaroff, also known as the Devil, involved with a plot to create zombie outbreaks at local Starbucks. After she follows the lead, someone is definitely trying end her unlife with a car, guns, and an elevator (among others). Can Amanda stay undead long enough to save her friend and stop her food source from being destroyed?

I really like this book. It’s irreverent, witty, and features a very twisted and dark sense of humor. Amanda Feral’s voice is unlike any other. She is selfish, vain, egotistical, and really funny. I normally would hate someone like this, but Mark Henry manages to make her likable and makes the reader care about her. The language used is interesting to say the least. She uses imagery that evokes certain body parts and is unapologetic about the fact that she can’t stomach anything but human flesh and booze (and about what happens to her should she eat or drink anything else). She is also frank about her sexual appetite and the skill (or lack thereof) of the people she has sex with. I have read reviews by those that think her language and frankness are out of place and highlight the fact this it is written by a man, but I completely disagree. Just because she’s not a simpering, shy violet doesn’t mean that she’s not a woman. I also like that she went from someone who died because of her own selfishness to someone who would go through a lot of time and trouble to help her friends.

The format of the novel is also very interesting. There are 132 footnotes throughout the story that do anything from defining an acronym to chastising the reader for thinking dirty thoughts. There are also lists intermittently placed that feature drink recipes and playlists of music appropriate for the setting. I also like that Amanda frequently speaks directly to the reader like a twisted Jane Austen novel.

If you like a sharp wit and dark, twisted humor, this is the book for you. Allow Mark Henry to take you to a world that exists below the human world, rife with zombies, shapeshifters, and other supernatural creatures. If you have are squeamish or have a weak stomach, I would pass on this one.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

**This post is for Velvet's September Zombies.**


Sullivan McPig said...

I must confess I didn't this novel as Mark Henry didn't succeed in getting me to like Amanda. Maybe I should try it again some day.

vvb32 reads said...

i like that point -- like a twisted Jane Austen novel.