I just had a major derp moment and posted this with nothing said before jumping to the review. You guys may notice that this is being posted kind of late, blame classes and my inability to study and do anything else at the same time. There’s going to be a review up Saturday as well, so hopefully I’ll be back in a schedule fairly soon.
It was a normal day when the outbreak occurred. For body builder Sven it started with his spotter wondering off while he was trying to break his own record. For Jane it was worrying about her sick house mate before heading off to work. For Lorie, that big track meet later in the day. Milt just wanted to play some WoW. But then everything got weird and the dead started to rise.
I’m going to admit now that I love zombie movies, zombie novels on the other hand are something that I’ve kind of skipped over for whatever reason. Guy James’ Sven the Zombie Slayer could change that. The characters are, for the most part, as freaked out by zombies suddenly arising as any normal human probably would be. They each get their quirks and funny character moments. They don’t all sound alike, each gets a voice unique to them. Sven starts the book sounding like a meathead who puts too much time into his exercise routine. Milt on the other hand uses the kind of bastardized English that tends to show up with internet users who vastly overestimate both their own intelligence and other people’s lack thereof. Considering the amount of juggling James does, the difference in voices is rather nice. He also used a rather interesting take on the zombies themselves, having them quickly become dried out rather than rotting at a more normal rate. It was also rather interesting to see the main characters trying to work with and around each other. This isn’t a movie where the over confidant young guy gets himself and half of the named cast killed by doing something that sounded like a good idea at the time. These characters have seen those movies and know what to expect. It gives them a level of genre savvy that’s both refreshing and gets to lead to character development.
That said, the characters tend to do a lot of cyclical thinking. Sven is always going to worry about his muscles at some point in the chapter. Jane is always going to get introspective when she’s the viewpoint character. Milt is going to blather about his superiority regardless of whom he’s speaking to if he isn’t just basking in it to himself. There were some redundant bits of storytelling and dialogue but nothing so bad that it didn’t feel like the characters were being written more towards an attempt at the way people think and react to things. The focus on Sven’s cat also felt a bit odd at times. Not a “why’s this guy taking his cat zombie hunting” way, more that the cat seemed like a bit of a catch all plot coupon. I’m also not a huge fan of the “To Be Continued” on the last page, but it fits with some of the more movie like elements of the writing.
So, where does that leave me for a review? I enjoyed the story. The writing was good regardless of stylistic choices. I’m giving it a four out of five and more jokes about bad zombie movies than I really want to think about.