71. Living with the Dead – Kelley Armstrong
You know, I’m not sure that Hope and Karl can really carry a story. Hope’s a demon who has a hard time controlling her massive powers and Karl is a werewolf slash jewel thief (sometimes) that loves that demon. Karl didn’t really pop out much to me in the other werewolf stories, so his whole near-redemption situation wasn’t all that intriguing. I think maybe Armstrong knows that not all the characters really deserve their own book length work, but still wanted to use these two, and so she stuck them in with some other narrators in Living with the Dead. The result is a bit of a mess. The plot’s fine, a little involved considering that this is book nine in the Otherworld series and the reader is only familiar with a couple of the characters already – and vaguely familiar at that. Robyn, Hope’s friend that doesn’t know she’s a demon, who also has a dead husband who was – surprise! – a necromancer, starts finding lots of dead people around her. And not in a Sixth Sense way, in a “you must be the killer, you’re around” way. Oh, those supernatural crimes inspire the best police work. Well, this one kind of does once Robyn’s dead husband starts helping Finn, another new narrator.
Sometimes you read books in a series to have read the whole series…and if Armstrong’s writing wasn’t so easy to glide through, I might’ve skipped this one.
Ozma looks for a story with more dynamic narrators on the other side of the couch. The cooler werewolves are not back there, little Oz, I’m sorry.
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.
Filed under Books, Review