Recent Reads – June 2012
June 25, 2012
I’d recommend this wild west zombie story mostly for folks who enjoy horror. It doesn’t stand out to me as much as some of the other things I’ve read from Lansdale, but it’s short and strange and I’m on a big historical supernatural kick at the moment. I also liked that these are magic-based zombies, which seem underused compared with the kind that come from viruses or some other contamination. Yeah, they all still shuffle after your guts, but supernatural zombies often lend a kind of “defeat the evil” vibe. Sometimes that feels like a refreshing change of pace from the post-apocalyptic infected hordes that are all over the place now.
When Sam learns that he has a secret, magical heritage, wackiness ensues. The characters and tone of this one are great, so it’s a must-read for YA fans. The romance explodes in intensity too quickly for my taste, and it skirts close to my pet peeve against supernaturally-induced making out. The rest of the book is cute enough that I’m overlooking that quibble. The chapter titles kept making me smile and hum the songs that they referenced, though most seemed more appropriate to someone my age than Sam’s. And the author gets bonus points for using a TMBG song.
So I mentioned I’ve got a historical supernatural fixation going on, right? I haven’t been thrilled with the last few entries in this series about dragons in the Napoleonic Wars, it started to feel like the plot was less of a concern than showing readers yet another new and exotic location. This book worked its way back to the larger story of the war though, and it gave me the feeling that the Lawrence and Temeraire World Tour of Being Treated Badly may be history. It was also much more fun than it’s last pair of predecessors, which always helps. When a series that I’ve loved starts to lose me, I always try to give it a few more books to pull me in again. This is the only case I can think of where that’s worked, and now I’m excited to read more of these.