As previously established, even white trash zombies get the blues. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much time for Angel to get her groove back. Let’s swing to How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back, by Diana Rowland.
It’s zombie versus zombie as the Saberton Corporation declares war against the Zombie Mafia, kidnapping several of their party. It falls to Angel to lead the remnants of her gang halfway across the country to claw their way through corporate intrigue, zombie drugs, and undead trafficking to rescue her friends—and expose the traitor responsible for their abduction…
Instead of staying within the bounds of Angel’s rural hometown, the zombie Tribe rolls out for New York. Instead of dealing mostly with Angel’s personal life, the majority of the story is about planning and executing an action-packed commando raid against Saberton. There’s no doubt that How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back represents a radical departure from the usual formula of the series. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however: having the occasional book which dares to shake things up and deviate from the norm can prevent a series from stagnating. In fact, following up on how White Trash Zombie Apocalypse promised more but just ended up being more of the same, I found this one to be a welcome change of pace.
It helps, of course, that the plot is competently executed. The mystery regarding the identity of a Saberton mole in the Tribe is well-done, with a number of suspects being presented and the final revelation being unexpected yet making perfect sense and not butchering anybody’s prior characterization. There’s also further exploration of how precisely the zombie parasite works; the additional abilities which mature zombies develop, and how they hide the fact that they don’t age. I approve of this world-building: I prefer speculative fiction where the conceits are given explanation and justification rather than just excused with “it works that way because it just does”.
Finally, there’s the sequel hook. Angel never actually dealt with her drug addiction issues; she was just forced to stop when her zombie physiology made it so normal drugs don’t affect her. Now that she’s discovered that the new zombie mods work like drugs for her, it looks like some of her old issues are going to resurface, giving a chance for genuine character development. I’m eagerly awaiting seeing where this is going.
Final Rating: 3/5