Author: Diana Rowland
Series: White Trash Zombie #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 07/05/11
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
Angel Crawford is a Loser
Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she's a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who's been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.
That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn't have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there's a job waiting for her at the parish morgue -- and that it's an offer she doesn't dare refuse.
Before she knows it she's dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey -- just when she's hungriest!
Angel's going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn't, she's dead meat.
Plot: 5 Stars
The zombies in this novel are much more complex than the everyday mindless variety that shambles around looking for "BRAAAINS!" They're coherent and don't seem dead (for the most part). It was hilarious and fun to follow Angel along as she figured out what happened to her and what she had become. As the story progressed, she also begins to grow up and deal with some demons. The pills, pot, and alcohol she used to turn to are suddenly less effective and she starts to see things differently. Plus, she really needs to keep her job at the morgue (for obvious reasons), so Angel is forced to take the job seriously. There are a number of twists and turns near the end that caught me completely by surprise, which made the novel even better. Plus, now I really want the next novel to see how the story is going to continue.
Pace: 5 Stars
I couldn't put this novel down. I don't tend to enjoy zombies quite as much as most paranormal creatures, but this novel has changed that. I've also had a bit of bad luck lately with books from DAW (mostly DNFs), so I was happy to find a novel from that imprint that I enjoyed so much. Normally, I would be hesitant to start a novel from an imprint that I've had such a so-so track record with, but I loved Diana Rowland's Mark of the Demon also, so I had a feeling I would definitely finish this novel. I was a bit hesitant because I was afraid I had played this novel up a bit too much with my anticipation, but it exceeded all of my expectations.
Characters: 5 Stars
Angel is one of the most complex characters I've read in a while. She's much more than a pill addict. Her growth throughout the novel is tremendous, but completely believable. Even when dealing with the tough stuff, she still had a sarcastic sense of humor that really resonated with me. I really connected with Angel, even though I am neither a pill addict nor a zombie. There were a number of co-workers at the morgue and cops that Angel met when she started her new job. Some were nicer than others, some were funnier than others, but they were all interested. The job at the morgue gave Angel a fresh start, and really opened her eyes to life outside of pills, alcohol, her father, and her on-again-off-again boyfriend. There were also a few characters along the way that helped her figure stuff out, but not always in the most productive ways. All in all, it was a great cast of characters.
Cover: 5 Stars
This cover is a work of art. In a morbid kind of way, the zombie chick on the cover is hot. She's also a bit of a hot mess, but I'm okay with that. My favorite detail on the cover is the piercings in her ear. Even though Angel is never described as having any of the piercings, I have a soft spot for industrials since I used to have mine until one side started bugging me (that's the bar that goes through two parts of the ear). The hairstyle, cigarette, and blood are great details that really fit the character. The gray color of the skin screams zombie in a perfect way. And the background color is such a strange pink. When browsing in the fantasy/scifi section, any pink you come across (and it's not much) is hot pink, so this pastel pink instantly sets it apart. Plus, it's so wrong for Angel's character that it ends up being right. The font isn't necessarily what I would've chosen, but it's simple and doesn't take away from the gorgeous cover so I really can't complain.
Overall: 5 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this novel for my own reading pleasure.