Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Loving Dead

Kate and Michael are roommates and work at the same Trader Joe’s in the California’s Bay Area. One fateful night, Kate’s friend Jamie from her bellydancing class is attacked by a seemingly crazed homeless person. Kate brings her home and starts to become intimate with her when Jamie suddenly turns a sickly shade of grey and her eyes film over. She has become one of the walking dead. After subduing the zombie, her roommates hope this is an isolated incident, but she is only the first of a great many to come. The disease is discovered to be transmitted through bodily fluids, so Kate is worried about turning into one of the walking dead. The next day, Kate leaves to go on a date with her boyfriend, which turns out to be a huge mistake involving a Zeppelin full of zombies. It’s also a mistake because she leaves Michael alone with a house full of zombies. Can these two reunite, admit their feelings for each other, and survive the zombie apocalypse?

When I first heard about this book, I was so excited. It sounded delightfully disturbing and funny. The actual novel isn’t as good as I expected, but not terrible. I like the new take on zombies. It’s always refreshing when an author is innovative and makes a change to make their novel stand out. These zombies can speak, eat flesh, and exhibit heightened levels of arousal and promiscuity. Basically, these zombies want to eat and have sex with you. Plus, they can be subdued with whips or anything that can make a whipping sound (including iPod apps). Even though it sounds kind of like the plot to a badly written porno, I assure you the writing is excellent. The apocalypse is portrayed very well. Many people had to see the zombies killing people before they believed those who warned them. By then, frequently, it was too late to escape. I think this is how really people would act. In addition, certain individuals would try to exert power over those weaker than them and hold valuables over the other’s head. It’s sad, but true. The ending of the novel is the best part, but I won’t elaborate and spoil it for anyone.

The pacing of the novel was the thing that bothered me the most. There is too much time in between patient zero and the full outbreak with the chaos that comes with it. A lot of the narrative is a weird in between area where there are some zombies, but the majority of people still don’t realize something is amiss. I think if people saw a giant Zeppelin fall from the sky and crash to the ground, they would know that something was wrong. The characters are a little vapid and fake to me. They are supposed to be portraying my age group and all they do is sleep around, party, and work at dead end jobs. Other than these things, I definitely enjoyed The Loving Dead and I would read more books from Amelia Beamer.

The Loving Dead is an undeniably unique zombie novel that, at its core, encourages its readers to embrace real love over meaningless, empty relationships even if it’s in opposition to what is popular.

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins

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


Mary Ann said...

Very good review, Titania!

Like you, I want to believe in the book's characters - there needs to be a certain level of *depth* for the reader to be able to relate & sympathy with their plight/circumstances.

Not sure what to make of this book? Yeah, maybe it's me ... but I know a zepplin chock full of zombies crashing to Earth would certainly send my doom-dar on high alert lol

Audra said...

Okay, I confess, I was totally getting lifted-eyebrow-syndrome until: Even though it sounds kind of like the plot to a badly written porno, I assure you the writing is excellent.

WHEW. I think I'll have to look for this one. Odd, but intriguing!