Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Married with Zombies, Book Review.

Approaching the end of my WIP, I was very dissatisfied with with the ending and decided my issue was chapters back (read half the book).  I went back seven chapters (25,000 words) and started rewriting, changing the plot, and abandoning the majority of the work I’d already done.  This has been particularly hard, but just as the beginnings of books are important to sell the story to your reader, the ending is equally important to sell your next book.

Oddly enough, my writing issues seemed to line up with my recent reads. The last two books I've read both had some ending issues, both for different reason.

I’m quite the connoisseur of zombie media, and Married With Zombies is  written as a ZomRomCom in the manner of Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland. It’s cheeky and fun, but with plenty of gruesome, violent details that make the zombie genre fun.

The main characters, Sarah and David, a married couple with serious relationship problems, find themselves at the epicenter of the start of a zombie apocalypse.  One of the things I found charming about Peterson’s book was the start of the book.  Sarah and David are on the way to their weekly marriage counseling appointment, both contemplating the possibility of divorce when they encounter their therapist eating the couple that had the appointment before them (a fact that’s especially rewarding since the couple with the appointment before them are annoyingly perfect).

photo by Hang_in_there

At the beginning we find our couple fight zombies and each other, but as the book progresses they come to appreciate each other more and rekindle the love they once shared.  The book is written with humorous chapter titles straight out of relationship guides, but with a zombie twist.  Practical advice such as: Build mutual friendships. Just be ready to end them when your friends start trying to eat you.

I really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the others in the series. I was with Peterson every step of the way, until the ending. The ending was more of a non-ending. There’s a dramatic arch and a conclusion to their primary goal (getting out of town and finding David’s sister), but after that it wide open. 

I understand the reasoning…This book was written as a series, and the ending leaves things wide open. There was very little explanation about how the outbreak occurred, but enough to know that it spread fast (toppling major West Coast cities within three days). We are left with the idea that more rural areas of the country would be safer, and that’s where our couple head off…riding into the sun set (well maybe sunrise since they are heading East), but not before setting up a humorous and yes, gimmicky plan that sets up the next few books. 

But my preference for solid endings had me screaming.  I wished the author would have had the couple settle down with a “now that we were safe” type ending, but instead we’re left with the “tune in next time and see what happens when this zany couple hits the Midwest”.

Don’t get me wrong. I liked the book and will definitely get the next one.  It was campy and fun, and while very predictable it was nice to see the zombie apocalypse happen around a married couple with common problems. Just because zombies are trying to eat you doesn’t mean that all your relationship problems are going to disappear.

I highly recommend this book, especially if enjoy campy humor along with your blood and gore.

Next up will be of Monster by A. Lee Martinez.

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