Saturday, June 30, 2012

Early Review: Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues (White Trash Zombie #2) by Diana Rowland

Angel is starting to settle into this whole “being a zombie” thing, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that’s right — the zombie mafia. 
Throw in a government conspiracy and a secret lab, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower — and maybe a brain smoothie as well — in order to get through it without falling apart.     July 3rd 2012 | DAW

I opened my mouth to tell him he was full of shit, to tell him I knew he'd thrown me under the bus, but all that came out was, "Braaiinns." Yeah, I was kinda hungry.

My first thought when closing this book was, "Damn, that was good!". There are so many different aspects of the story I enjoyed that initially I couldn't figure out how to begin my review.

Now that I've had a few days to reflect on it, I'm going to start with what impressed me most - Angel's character growth. This is a large focus of the story and is executed perfectly, written in a way that feels realistic and believable. If I didn't think I could become any more invested in Angel's character and the overall outcome of her story, I was proven wrong. 

Angel has had to make significant adjustments to the changes that have recently been made in her life. She's comfortable with her job at the coroner's office, is in a steady relationship with Marcus, and finally has people in her life who are willing to support her. She's also attempting to slowly mend the relationship with her father. He's still struggling with his alcoholism and despite what he's put her through, she's trying to remain supportive and refuses to give up on him. 

"Because it's a goddamn bar!" he shouted back. "And I'm trying to not go to bars any more, 'cause when I go to bars I drink, and I'm trying not to drink any more 'cause it's pretty much the only way to get sober, goddammit!"

As the story progresses, Angel's insecurities and feelings of inadequacy become more evident, especially after she accompanies Marcus to a social gathering and meets his successful, well-educated friends and family members. Shortly after, their relationship becomes less stable when Angel decides she is fed up with the way he makes decisions for her as if she isn't smart enough or capable enough to think for herself.

My first thought was that this was a plot device created just for the excitement of having tension in their relationship. And I think that most of you would agree that 99.9% of the time I would be correct. 

While I won't comment on their relationship status at the story's conclusion (you'll have to read to find out), I will say that I couldn't have been more proud of Angel for wanting to make improvements in her life and thinking more seriously about furthering her education solely for herself and not to impress someone else. She didn't feel the need to make decisions based on what would make someone else happy and didn't spend time sullen and whining about whether or not her relationship could be mended. It was very refreshing and empowering and is another reason for me to admire Rowland and the fantastic character and series that she has created.

Another highlight of this sequel was the dark humor. 'Laugh out loud' is not just an expression, but a literal term when reading this story. Granted, the moments with the most humor appear in the later half of the story, but once it starts it's hilarious. And most of these moments occur during intense scenes, especially when Angel interacts with the "bad guy", making them that much funnier for their inappropriate timing.

"My sidekick?" I gave Ed a sidelong look.
"Yes, the knight in shining armor who rescued you from my dastardly clutches." 
"Dude, you read way too many romance novels."

I also found myself very impressed by the scientific explanation for zombies. Rowland provides a creative and unique concept for their creation and continued existence. It completely changed the way that I looked at Angel's fast healing and craving for brains.

Overall, this is a series that I very highly recommend to fans of dark urban fantasy and flawed characters. The unbelievably kick ass book covers are just an added bonus. 

"Yeah, well I ate his brain." I leaned back and laced my fingers behind my head. "Motherfucker shot me. I couldn't let that shit slide."


Lynn K. said...

Lovely review! I can't wait for this to be released! :)

Braine Talk Supe said...

The first quote was hilarious!

I'm not into zombies but this sounds "normal" and something I would probably enjoy given the chance. I am very curious on Rowland's zombie scientific explanation, I'm not well versed in life sciences but I am always impressed when their myths hold nuggets of truth to make it believable.

Jennifer TheBookNympho said...

I saw this one in Books A Million last week while I was on vacation. They must have put it out early. I still need to read the 1st book.

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