Sunday, January 13, 2013

Review | Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues
Diana Rowland
White Trash Zombie #2
Published 2012 by DAW (Penguin)
Contemporary science fantasy
4 stars

Angel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, 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 secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, 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.

Bite-Sized Review
I started this series after enjoying Diana Rowland's other series, Kara Gillian, but at this point I'd say that White Trash Zombie is at least as good. This book, the second, has improved over the first, and I really like where the series is going. Definitely give My Life as a White Trash Zombie a try if you think you might be even remotely interested.

Chocolate (things I liked)
-I love that Angel continues to grow as a character in this book. It would have been easy for Diana Rowland to say, "Whelp, her life (as it were) doesn't suck anymore! Character development, check!" but she doesn't. Angel's new life was sort of handed to her, but in this book, she takes control of it, which makes her an easy character to root for.

-Blues has a lot more scientific explanation of zombies than the first book did. That may not appeal to everyone, especially since the imparting of this explanation was in the less-than-ideal form of an info dump, but I really like having more background than "everyone knows what zombies are, duh." As an added bonus, the science-y stuff actually made sense, although someone with more of a background in biology might disagree (or not, I really don't know).

-Even though there are a lot of parts that could be really gruesome, Diana Rowland deals with them in such a matter-of-fact way that it's easy to ignore all the brains, guts, brutal injuries, etc that crop up during the course of the novel. It's written in such a way that you could revel in the gooey viscera, but you don't have to.

-Despite the whole "zombie" plot, the casual tidbits about morgue work seem exceedingly authentic. Some quick googling that was totally not stalking reveals that Diana Rowland has been, among other things, a street cop, a detective, a computer forensics specialist, a crime scene investigator, and a morgue assistant, so clearly she knows what she's talking about. Not only is it cool to get a glimpse of "real"(ish--most police forces probably don't have to deal with mysterious zombie-related deaths) police work, having a realistic morgue/sheriff's office makes the "zombie" part of the story easier to swallow.

Brussels Sprouts (things I didn't like)
-Probably the only real issue I have with this series is how easy it seems for Angel to fix her life once she becomes a zombie. I think I would have found it more believable if she had made a few mistakes along the way.

Recommended for 
Fans of urban fantasy with a focus more on plot than romance. Though I would technically classify this series as science fiction, it feels more like urban fantasy. Give it a try if you like Stacia Kane, Carrie Vaughn, and Kalayna Price.


  1. What an interesting idea for a book. I'd never heard of it, but am definitely intrigued! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I love the covers for both books and the name really stands out and gets you wondering about it. I haven't read it yet, but i keep seeing it and telling myself that i should.

  3. Angel is settling into her life as a zombie now, working in the morgue, eating her brains and dating her fellow zombie, Marcus. They’re a little wary from the threat of zombie hunters after the deaths in the last book and she’s still working to get her dad sorted out, but on the whole things are looking good.

    But then things get more complicated – a body appears that makes no sense at all to the police – and is connected not only to the zombies but also to the zombies that were murdered by Ed the zombie-hunter in the last book. Worse, the body is stolen at gunpoint from Angel and no-one believes her story – finding it easier to blame her, with her criminal record than to actually listen to her. Her job and her easy access to brains are under threat – and the clue trail points towards experiments and projects funded by zombies and possible conflict between them.

    As if that weren’t enough, her parole officer reminds her that she needs to get her GED or she’ll violate her parole, which just highlights her lack of education and the massive class gulf between her and Marcus who is studying for his Masters. To make matters worse, his friends and his uncle, an old and powerful zombie, are all vastly more educated and more wealthy than she and they look down on her from the vantage point of their extravagant mansions.

    And all of this is before they find they’ve stumbled into zombie politics and insidious conspiracies at the highest possible levels…


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