If you pick up a book titled Zombielicious, you have
to know straight off you’re not in for an experience to rival, say, Charles
Dickens’ Great Expectations. I read books like this because authors or
publishers send them to me or, for reasons known only to my inner masochist, I
ask for them. Based on its title alone, Zombielicious has every right to
be a hot, steaming pile of zombiecrap. But it isn’t. It’s a surprisingly
well-plotted action story with some interesting characters.
Sibling trustafarians Walt and Molly combine forces with
Jill—a retired porn star turned nurse—the uber-macho Ace and Walt’s love
interest, a patient named Joey, to fight off an onslaught of zombies. Where did
the zombies come from? Who knows? The zombiepocalypse, perhaps? That’s not the
point. The point is they’re here, they’re hungry and they’re legion.
The book is separated into acts, and that goes along with
the feeling that it’s a movie script writ large. I almost expected lengthy shot
descriptions or camera angles included in the text. This doesn’t detract from
the piece, however. It moves at a dizzying pace, pausing only for rifle volleys
or interludes to bandage injuries.
But McGivney has also created some excellent characters to
move his plot along. Walt may be a proto-typical nice guy, but his sister Molly
has some deliciously warped “American Idol” fame fantasies. Jill, formerly
known as Katie “Killer” Kummings, has an interesting backstory that hooks up
nicely with the studly Ace, a janitor at the same hospital, who has discovered
Though this doesn’t sound marvelous, Zombielicious is
more than the sum of its parts. McGivney manages to keep things fresh and
interesting, and it accomplishes a great deal in its 209 pages as two survivors
(I won’t tell you, but you can probably guess) ride off into the sunset on a
motorcycle to spend the rest of their lives fighting the rotting, shuffling
enemy. Will Zombielicious remind you of Charles Dickens? No.
But I’ll bet he would have liked it.
Reviewed by Jerry Wheeler