RogerBW's Blog

My Life as a White Trash Zombie, Diana Rowland 05 July 2020

2011 urban fantasy, first of a series. Angel Crawford is a pill-popping loser living with her deadbeat alcoholic father in rural Louisiana. Until the night she blacks out and wakes up in hospital, with memories of a car crash but no injuries…

We, of course, have cheated and read the title; it takes Angel rather longer to work out just what's in those "energy drinks" that her mysterious patron provides her with. That patron also gets her a job with the local coroner's office, so once she works out what that really appealing smell is she's in a position to do something about it.

I think one of the things that works well here is that, unlike the usual attitude in horror tales, Angel's interested in working out the rules of her new existence, and willing to experiment. It also helps that there isn't a static pre-existing zombie society for Angel to disrupt with her weird newly-dead ways. She's interacting mostly with live humans, staying sufficiently cerebrated for her condition not to become obvious, and using this disjunction as an excuse to get her life turned round. (It helps a lot that drugs don't work on her any more, so she's gone clean without the option, though also without the physiological costs.)

I didn't want people wondering how I could have healed up so fast. I still wasn't sure what I was going to do about the fact that there wasn't a scar. Maybe get my hair cut so I had bangs that covered my forehead? I made a face. Bangs. Ugh. I'd rather have parts falling off.

The writing is excellent, but more importantly there's a sense of fun and enquiry here, an interesting and lively protagonist (yes, I know), and plausible minor characters. They aren't all marvels of characterisation, but they do at least feel like people rather than just label-holders for "the annoying boss" or "the kindly pathologist".

Recommended by Ashley Pollard – yeah, I finally got round to reading it, and for a genre that doesn't normally interest me I found it remarkably good.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Series: White Trash Zombie | Next in series: Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues

  1. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 02:59pm on 05 July 2020

    So glad to see that you enjoyed this, and a positive review. Wow! Somethings wrong with Roger?

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 03:01pm on 05 July 2020

    Every time I read a book I'm hoping to be able to write a positive review of it. I'm gradually getting better at picking them, or at least at giving up on the ones I won't enjoy.

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