5. The Zombie Whisperer – Jesse Petersen
Sarah and Dave return to Seattle to conclude the Living with the Dead series. I really enjoyed this entire series. It means a lot to me to see other writers working with horror tropes allowed some damn humor. I see no reason to try to survive in the zombie apocalypse if I’m just supposed to talk about surviving all the time. Recently, I did admit at a Torchy’s Tacos that I do not want to live if the zombie apocalypse were to happen. I think my massive problems with allergies are enough reason to just wait to be eaten. I don’t want to be around when the air conditioning stops working or when everyone who was enjoying some nice Torchy’s Tacos suddenly starts eating each other instead. Not for me. Sarah and Dave survived, they kept their marriage together, they can make survival tacos out of canned black beans and re-populate the world in my imaginary memory if they must. They’ve certainly taken up the torch of sarcasm in the post-apocalypse and for that I salute their story and heartily give up the idea of having my own.
Anyway, as a whole, I’m keen on this series as I said. On its own, The Zombie Whisperer is a bit weak for reasons that seem unfortunate. There’s just a smidge too much crammed into a small amount of space with some scenes that seem like they’re the correct length and others that felt rushed and although it makes sense, the couple-based complications of the last one are a little too on the nose for me. I definitely know that when ending a series things get complicated and I’m glad the action returned to Seattle, a nice full circle works in its favor. There is a bit of a scattered feeling to it for me, and I’m not sure that’s not influenced by the reading it as an ebook in Courier type… I have to say I’m also disappointed in the publishers for not giving the series a proper end in print. Tangential short stories only in eformat? Fine. But the end of a print series should be in print with the same cover style, out of respect for the series and its author if nothing else.
Twiglet knows how important it is to end a series right. It is just as important as knowing how to pose on top of a pumpkin, a skill Twiglet mastered in mere minutes.
18. Eat. Slay. Love. – Jesse Petersen
Sarah and David finally reach the Midwest! And there’s a wall. I was reading Jesse Petersen’s blog and there was mention of another Sarah and David book…eventually… I find that both maddening and something to look forward to. Not unlike the somewhat mystifying possible future of Ugly Americans, a show I enjoy with zombies and my favorite character, Doug the Koala-man aka Cesar the Murder Bear. At least I know there will very likely be another Living with the Dead book. I don’t know what will happen to Doug. I just don’t know.
Anyhow, this series showed me where the witty people of the post-apocalypse ended up, it has enough pop culture references to keep a reader like me happy, snappy dialogue, and enough gory action to work within the zombie canon. Sarah and David moved beyond whinging about the loss of humanity and stockpiling canned goods long ago, which for me is really the direction the zombie canon needed to go. It was just so refreshing to read a few zombie books without a grocery store confrontation or some arbitrary rape or the serious seriousness of Serious Falls. Thank you, Jesse Petersen, now please write at least one more with Sarah and David. They’re more fun to follow through the zombie apocalypse than most characters and that means a lot to those of us who have senses of humor and love plagues.
Murderface and Pickles did not come up against the Midwest Wall. They came up against a much greater obstacle: the edge of the bed.
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28. Flip This Zombie – Jesse Petersen
This series is progressing along nicely. The leftover citizens realize how important libraries are, the wisecracks and useful pop culture references continue, and the love-hate relationship between the main couple remains fun to read about as they continue to pursue killing zombies.
My one qualm comes from this book’s treatment of my favorite subject – the noble guinea pig. The couple encounters a mad scientist who claims to have a cure for the zombie menace. A cure he has so far been testing on guinea pigs. Here’s the major problem – he injects a guinea pig with the zombie virus and the zombie cure and places it into a cage with many other guinea pigs and they ignore the intruder. Now, anyone who has interacted with a herd of guinea pigs knows that their hierarchies are very structured. No one gets in or out without being sniffed and circled. When I used to go and pick up the guinea pigs at pet stores because I didn’t have my own every guinea pig I returned to a cage full of others was immediately sniffed and given those little head twitches that say “Where were you? Were you up there? What the hell is that smell you have on you?” Now that I have my own herd of guinea pigs, I know that their social hierarchies sometimes prevent them from living together at all – social animals, they say. HA! None of my guinea pigs could possible bear the idea of a new pig entering into their home without being investigated thoroughly and challenged to a nose off. Also, Petersen could have mentioned how freakishly adorable guinea pigs are a time or two as well. Being attacked by such adorable creatures surely bears a mention of how absurd their cuteness really is.
You know you'd let Twiglet eat you.
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21. Married With Zombies – Jesse Petersen
This was straightforward, snappy fun. No large overarching message or random bellyaching over the end of the world or bullshit about who can make the most serious face about the most serious event ever to happen in the United States. Yay! I do get a bit tired of the idea that the zombie apocalypse would kill not only the majority of American citizens but also every single person’s sense of humor. Or maybe everyone else who writes zombie stories assumes that all the funny people will die first. I think you can make well-timed wisecracks and kill zombies and contemplate the vastness of humanity being destroyed all in one day. Apparently Jesse Petersen agrees with me.
Married With Zombies tells the story of a couple who were planning on attending their marriage counseling session only to be confronted with a zombie takeover of Seattle. The couple are really realistic, they love each other, they don’t necessarily like each other, however, they do agree with each other about everyone else. This relationship is a big part of what made me interested in going along for the ride with them as they encounter what’s left of the west coast.
Pammy biting Thaddeus' ear says everything about their relationship. Snappy.
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