I’ve made references to the zombie zeitgeist in my review of The Girl With All The Gifts, so I wont cover the old ground in this review but the zombie genre isn’t going anywhere just yet.
Diana Rowland’s 1st in the White Trash Zombie series, My Life As A White Trash Zombie. Takes the zombie trope and presents it from the zombie’s perspective. The best use of this I have seen is the film, Wasting Away, low budget B movie comedy horror at it’s best.
Rowland’s White Trash Zombie, Angel Crawford is down on her luck, recently woken up in hospital, with no memory how she got there, a hunger for brains and a mysterious note with instructions on how to embark on a new job at the Coroner’s office. Angel is turning her life around with a job, a deadbeat father and dropout boyfriend in tow. But someone is on the decapitation, killing the residents of Angel’s small tow
Angel’s assent in to a normal life albeit as a zombie comes across as rather slapdash in someways it reads as an addict trying to recover only to be replaced with another addiction. It is a vehicle that assists in driving the story but sometimes it becomes over stated short of stating: “Braaaaaaaaiiiiiiins” on every page, Rowland makes sure the reader knows Angel is a zombie, she reminds us every page.
The white trash element of the story seems tacked on and Angel never really comes across as white trash in the true definition of the label. A high school dropout who purports not to be smart as an impressive vocabulary of someone who isn’t that well read with an ability to reason and apply logic that would make most chess grand masters blush. This element could have been fleshed out (pardon the pun) . Living in a shack with beer cans in the garden doesn’t really explore the white trash condition. And as this is a key selling point of the story, the reader is somewhat sold short on this narrative, maybe I like my stereotypes too much.
The story unfolds as you would imagine and the plot is the standard murder mystery that is often found in the urban fantasy market, “someone is killing our kind” but it is good enough to keep the story on track, there is a bit of background on Angel and her life at home that helps build Angel in to sympathetic character. Angel could have been a lot more sassy along the lines of Anita Blake but Rowland was clever in the writing of Angel and allows the reader to line their sympathy with her.
My Life As A White Trash Zombie paves the way for the series it makes some mistakes along the way and Angel isn’t a fully developed character, but if you are a fan of urban fantasy there would be no shame in giving this a read.