We return again to the White Trash Zombie series; so rise from your graves and join the horde as I feast upon the brains of White Trash Zombie Apocalypse, by Diana Rowland.
Our favorite white trash zombie, Angel Crawford, has enough problems of her own, what with dealing with her alcoholic, deadbeat dad, issues with her not-quite boyfriend, the zombie mafia, industrial espionage and evil corporations. Oh, and it’s raining, and won’t let up.
But things get even crazier when a zombie movie starts filming in town, and Angel begins to suspect that it’s not just the plot of the movie that’s rotten. Soon she’s fighting her way through mud, blood, bullets and intrigue, even as zombies, both real and fake, prowl the streets.
Angel’s been through more than her share of crap, but this time she’s in way over her head. She’ll need plenty of brainpower to fit all the pieces—and body parts—together in order to save herself, her town, and quite possibly the human race.
When we last left the world of White Trash Zombie, Dr. Charish had escaped along with three soldiers-turned-zombies, intending to start a zombie supersoldier program. Corrupted by the formula of artificial brains Dr. Charish had experimented with on them, they showed signs of far more rapid physical and mental deterioration than ordinary zombies as well as a much higher level of contagion with their bites. Now, we follow up with a book title White Trash Zombie Apocalypse. Obviously, this new strain of infection is going to go out of control, threatening to cause a zombie apocalypse, and it will be up to Angel and her zombie allies to save the human race from annihilation…
…Or the title just refers to an in-universe zombie movie being filmed in Angel’s town.
Okay. I mean, that’s fine too, I guess. Not actually anything near as epic as what the title made me envision, mind. Kind of a disappointment, actually. I mean, talk about your misleading titles. But whatever. I review the books I actually read, which are not necessarily the books I could have read or wish I’d read.
There were plenty of things in the novel that I liked. The subplot regarding Heather, for instance, provided action, intrigue, and an interesting character: hers were definitely the best parts of the book. Also, I liked the scene where Angel finally revealed her condition to her father. I said in the previous book that in order for peripheral characters to remain relevant, they would need to be allowed to learn about the secret world of zombies; and what do you know, here it happens for one important supporting character. Thanks to these positive elements, I was able to enjoy the book well enough.
My main problem is that the title set expectations that the book wasn’t able to meet. When a novel has “zombie apocalypse” in the title, I expect there to be, you know, a zombie apocalypse. I was prepared for an epic game-changing, Masquerade-shattering, world-threatening incident to occur; and instead, it was just more of the same type of events as in the previous two installments. Really, if there was any kind of big upset to the status quo occurring in the book, it was the flood: it destroys Angel’s house, makes her reveal her zombie powers to her father, and results in her agreeing to work for Pietro in the future. The thing is, the flood is a natural disaster: it’s not actually connected to the villains or anything they’re doing. Thus, rather than seeming like a consequence of the dangerous zombie underworld Angel has been drawn into, it just comes off as bad luck. If the villains destroy the hero’s home, that means the stakes have been raised and things are now personal; if an impersonal force of nature unconnected to anyone’s actions destroy’s the home, it doesn’t quite carry the same narrative weight.
In any case, the book was ultimately decent, if not quite up to my unfortunately elevated expectations.
Final Rating: 3/5