Zombies are all well and fun when we get right down to it, but even more entertaining than zombies are the way people react to them and how the zombie threat can change the most basic of morals in the most stubborn of people. He Left Her at the Altar, She Left Him to the Zombies is one such anthology book that does an excellent job of capturing the twisted, conniving side of human nature, using the zombies not as the main attraction, but more as a catalyst to show just how much more deranged a living person can be than a living corpse.
Katie Cord’s He Left Her at the Altar, She Left Him to the Zombies will draw you in from the moment you see the cover, and will keep you sucked in until you read the last gruesome page. This collection of point-of-views (mainly through the eyes of a female character) will range from a brilliant woman throwing ethics to the wind to save her beloved wife from certain death, to a lonely woman finding solace in taking care of her new “pet”, to a terminally ill woman raining righteous vengeance on a zombie prostitution ring.
Following what appears to be an eclectic flow, ranging anywhere from humorous to downright sordid, there are no shortages of surprises in He Left Her at the Altar, She Left Him to the Zombies. The entirety of this anthology is set in the same zombie apocalypse, and while most stories capture the beginning of the outbreak, we do get to see the whole picture from terrifying conception to bitter, cliffhanging end. Unfortunately, it is this eclectic flow that will throw a reader off for a moment as each individual story is being read. Fortunately, all you have to do is read the whole thing to be able to finally understand the big picture.
There are some stories that will pop out more than others, as is always the case with an anthology. I can’t personally chose a favorite, as I enjoyed each and every story, but there were some that left a deeper impression than others.
The first of these would be The Cure. This is the first story in the collection and tells how the zombie virus was first created. As it turns out, while the virus was originally conceptualized as an instrument to control humanity, it was ultimately created out of love and desperation by one brilliant scientist as an attempt to cure her terminally-ill wife. This story was excellent on so many levels, ranging from political to base human right and emotion, making it a very intense read. You don’t always root for the main character.
Then of course there’s the short story the book was titled after: He Left Her at the Altar, She Left Him to the Zombies. I particularly liked this one because it un-apologetically elaborates on the notion that only monsters could survive a world filled with monsters. You are made to understand from the get-go that there isn’t always a side to choose, that sometimes people are just awful to each other, and that spite could be just as overpowering as self-preservation. This particular story might serve more to piss you off than anything else, but only because Katie was able to so beautifully portray the worst of human nature, all wrapped up in an ungodly expensive wedding gown.
Another of my favorites is Dependence. This particular story speaks very loudly of what effects alcoholism–or any other addiction for that matter–could have on survival during an apocalypse, zombie or otherwise. It’s one of the shorter stories in He Left Her at the Altar, She Left Him to the Zombies, but powerful nonetheless. You again get that sense of desperation, and once again you find yourself not quite rooting for the survivor.
Finally, there’s Maxine. Of all of the stories, this one and the one right before that–And Baby Makes Three–stand out from the rest because they are the only two to share a direct connection with each other that goes beyond the zombie apocalypse and Rothgen (if you want to know who they are, you want to read the book). These two stories are about a child, whom is much more than she appears. Unfortunately for her, appearances are pretty important in this new world, and hers don’t quite “fit the norm”. These two final stories also double as a sort of interlude to Katie Cord’s upcoming book, Maxine.
That’s not to say these are the only good stories in He Left Her at the Altar, She Left Him to the Zombies. There are a grand total of 14 short stories in this anthology book, and each and every one is an absorbing read. I’m giving this one a 5 out of 5 on the Banana Scale, and highly recommend it to anyone that’s drawn the twisted side of humanity.
Not just another collection of zombie short stories, these are tales of the worst that humanity has to offer from alcoholism, zombie STDs, to marginalized women in the military. Filled with horror, carnage, redemption, and a whole lo of zombies, this book has a little of everything for the zombie fan.
He Left Her at the Altar, She Left Him to the Zombies contains fourteen short stories that’ll make you laugh, cry, look for a vomit bag, and then come back for more!