“Even White Trash Zombies Get The Blues” continues Angel Crawford’s tale from where “My Life As A White Trash Zombie” left off. It has the same punchy style as the first novel and continues to benefit from Allison McLemore’s first class narration.
The thing I liked most about the book is the way Angel grows and develops. She’s turned becoming a zombie into an opportunity to turn her life around and become a better person, or at least one she likes and respects more. Putting aside the humour (which occasionally made me laugh out loud) and the zombie strangeness (which becomes satisfyingly complex) the main impact of this book comes from making the reader care about Angel Crawford.
“Even White Trash Zombies Get The Blues” is darker than the first novel. The scenes relating to Angel’s treatment by her abductors are well enough written to be disturbing. This is about fear and humiliation and what happens when we treat people as things. Not a laugh a minute but not exploitative either. This is Angel’s introduction to some of the more unpleasant realities of her new life. Her reaction to her experience forces her to grow or die and begins to shape her into someone who thinks about the big picture and not just how to survive until tomorrow.
Diana Rowland goes to some lengths to explain the science behind being a zombie. While I think this was important, even necessary, I felt there was a little too much info-dumping at some parts of the book. The science does sound plausible and it sets up all kinds of ideas that can feed future books but I’d have rather had it drip fed a little more. The best part of the explanation was Angel’s reaction to it. Her enthusiasm for “learning cool stuff” is infectious.
I’m now a confirmed White Trash Zombie fan. I’ll download them as they appear and consume them with pleasure.
I’m also a fan of Allison McLemore, not just for her Angel voice, which is perfect, but for her ability to give voices to other characters and to narrate the action scenes. I’ll be looking at other books she’s narrated.
If you’d like to hear how Alison McLemore reads Angel, click on the SoundCloud link below: