SciFi Monkeys and TANSTAAFL Press brings you a review of
Vegan Teenage Zombie Huntress by G.G. Silverman
Overall Grade: B+ (See Tom’s notes on how he grades)
I picked this book at Oddmall in Everett, Washington where I was vending my own books. The colorful cover in combination with clashing horror paraphernalia caught my attention. The ridiculous title and G.G.’s energy sealed the deal.
As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, I’m not really a horror lover. Most zombie books leave me cold because the premise is so farcical. Once in a while one comes alone that I actually like. This is one of them primarily because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. G.G. does a credible job of marrying horror with humor and making it a fun read.
Clarissa is a teen in high school who is rebelling against everything, especially the industrial meat complex. On this particular night she teams up with her best friend, Cokie, and they go to try and talk sense into the young women not to humiliate themselves by going to prom by picketing outside the school entrance. Horror lovers can imagine the chaos that ensues when some of those same said attendees turn into soulless, flesh eating zombies.
Because neither of our main characters is completely without the teen hormones, despite of their protestations, they go inside to save the men that have them lusting. Cokie, daughter of a police officer, manages well, while Clarissa struggles with her pacifism. Clarissa is forced to save her worst enemy only to find out that worthy isn’t as horrible as she believed.
They all learn that idealism is a luxury that must be jettisoned if one is to survive!
The humor in this book is just right. Too much further and it would have been just silly without substance.
Silverman’s characters were just the right amount of brittle for their age. It wouldn’t have worked for anyone even 4 years older. Kudos for creating a believable near-adult!
The fight sequences in the book are excellent and realistic for a teen to have done without her and her friends having the skills of Rambo. They get into problems for doing dumb things and get out by using their heads and/or a small bit of luck.
Above all of these things, G.G. managed to write a book where everyone doesn’t come out happily ever after and there are real consequences of going into battle all without getting maudlin.
Oh, and stay tuned AFTER the book for the “interview” of the main characters. This was almost worth buying the book by itself.
Not So Good:
There was a subplot with a teen trying to do a Columbine.. go on a shooting spree. It wasn’t necessary and I found it distracting from the main plot of the story. Yes, it was a convenient way for the girls to get a gun, but there are other ways. Also, while poetic, I didn’t care for the way the shooter gets it in the end as it was too much of a cliché.
<SPOILER> I could have done without the ghost. By the point in the book that it showed up, Clarissa didn’t need a guide. She’d finally learned to stand on her own two feet. Boo-hiss for such a trite device.