Zombielicious by Timothy McGivney
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Zombielicious is a horror story about zombies mixed with a lot of sex and several different narrators. I can see some readers appreciating the over the top style and the action film like fights so perhaps this is for the right reader. Unfortunately none of the various characters ever really appealed to me and I didn’t like any of the sex scenes, of which there were a lot. The book reminds me of numerous zombie movies so I can easily see some readers liking that but for me it failed in the writing, the plot, and the fact that the story feels like so many other zombie stories.
The book begins with a prologue that introduces the five main characters. Told from each perspective the five different narrators all speak in first person present tense. This isn’t always a popular writing choice and it definitely worked against the story here. The five narrators include Walt a gay teenager that is struggling with his sexual identity. Walt’s twin sister Molly, a self absorbed kick ass redhead that is brash and egotistical. They meet up with Ace, an ex-cop turned security guard who speaks in a hick like accent and is obsessed with sex. Ace works at a hospital where Jill, a washed up, ex-porn star turned nurse, works and where Joey, also a gay teenager, checked himself in for experimental tests for cash. The ragtag group of 5 different characters comes together and each tells the story of how they battle zombies and have sex with each other.
The plot itself is kind of weak in that there is no real plot. The first third of the book is taken up introducing the characters and a brief glimpse into their background and thoughts. Then the zombie epidemic hits and the rest of the book is taken up with one zombie massecure after the next. The scenes read like movie fights with zombies trying to attack and the humans shooting, hitting, decaptiting and eviservating while fleeing. These scenes are graphic but not really bothersome since they’re so clearly exaggerated and meant for effect. I’m not entirely sure why all these scenes are included though. Especially the later scenes with Joey’s best friend Ever as some of these scenes kind of have no real point. They’re just another zombie fight scene with gruesome detail and more horrors.
In a lot of ways that’s the exactly what you expect from a zombie horror book. Not a lot of worrying about a cohesive plot and more emphasis on action and a quick pace. The book does read incredibly quickly and the scenes never slow down or lag. In between the fighting is a lot of sex. Ace, Molly, and Jill all have various scenes of graphic m/f sex on page while Walt and Joey have a few scenes as well. If you don’t mind blood, gore, and sex in your horror flicks then this story could really be for you. It has a ridiculous, over the top feel that keeps the violence from being intense or bothersome. Instead it feels more typical, expected, and because of that somewhat tired. Nothing happens that is especially surprising or innovative and leaves the story feeling like just one of many common zombie tales.
Sadly I didn’t like any of the characters and so I didn’t want to read about any of them having sex either. There is more m/f sex than m/m sex and the preoccupation with sex almost rivals the actual zombie violence. They’re presented in about equal measure. Part of the problem is definitely the various voices used to depict the characters and they come across very brash and often annoying. Ace talks like an unintelligent hick, something that feels out of place from someone that was almost a city detective. His preoccupation with sex and a small dick are just details I never wanted to know about him.
Likewise Molly is unsympathetic and self absorbed. You kind of want to like her for being so capable and able to take care of herself but she’s just this side of psycho herself so it’s hard to really care about what happens to her. Then there is Jill, a washed up porn star that I pitied but didn’t particularly like either. She comes across as sad and pathetic more than anything. Joey and Walt are the obvious stars of any sequel and they’re slightly less annoying only because they’re kept in check – for reasons you’ll see if you read the book. Joey is often the one who’s saved as he lacks any real strength or wit to save himself. Walt is ok with this and simply wants to be the one that keeps Joey looking pretty and available.
Thus unfortunately I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and didn’t care what happened to them. A lot of course does happen to them too so it’s a good thing I didn’t get too invested. While I don’t mind zombie books and picked this up hoping for a ridiculous, funny romp into the undead, it never got there for me. It has the elements but went for the cheap jokes and easy blood and sex each time. For the right reader this may shine and be really funny in that b horror movie kind of way.