Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Zombified by Maggie LaCroix

The Basics:
Zombified by Maggie LaCroix
The Writer's Coffee Shop
Paranormal Romance
Published August 28th, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

I love zombies, I usually find zombie stories very entertaining. I've read a couple of zombie love stories that kind of worked, so I guess I'm looking for one that really wows me! Plus that bronzed looking guy on the cover is already the hottest looking zombie I've ever seen....


Monsters generally know their place: vampires get to be sexy while zombies just decompose. But Maggie La Croix’s Zombified conjures up an entirely different kind of undead raised by good old-fashioned Voodoo. These gorgeous walking corpses don’t eat brain, they don’t stagger, and their bodies are spared the indignities of putrefaction.

Take Henri Jolicoeur. More than one hundred years after his death he is still a bewitching Adonis. But zombification does have its downsides. Henri has a master, a powerful Voodoo priest whose spells keep Henri, his teenage zombie sister, and five other poor souls in perpetual servitude.

That is, until a hurricane devastates their New Orleans home and the zombies are evacuated to the Texas border town of El Paso. The curse is broken. They are free and intend to stay that way. But how can they pass for human when they don’t eat or sleep and they’re reeling from black magic withdrawal? If that isn’t enough, they have a traitor in their midst, their master is hot on their trail, and a mysterious stranger in black is watching.

Enter Josie Cortez, a cowboy boots-wearing reporter at the local newspaper who desperately needs a good story to save her moribund career and get her editor off her back. One look at Henri and his weird little family and she knows she’s struck journalism gold. But strange things keep happening around Henri, things that remind Josie of her own tragic family history with black magic, a history that cost her her beloved mother and led Josie straight to the bottom of a bottle. Josie would rather forget all about that. Forgetting Henri, however, is easier said than done, even if falling for a man without a heartbeat could get her more than a broken heart. It could get her zombified.

My thoughts:

As far as zombie novels go, I thought Zombified had a solid, unique take on the concept. Using Voodoo, the recently dead have been raised as slaves for their masters. There's apparently some kind of council that regulates the practice (or connects the masters, at least). In the course of the novel, one master's zombies are caught out in Hurricane Katrina and granted freedom from their master when they're forced to evacuate to Texas.

I liked that the zombies have some autonomy but are susceptible to Voodoo. I assume the advantage of zombies over real people under similar control is that zombies have less maintenance (and don't age).

Josie interested me in that she had some obvious flaws - she's at a low point in her life, turning to alcohol and casual sex to numb the pain of losing her mother. There was also some kind of professional mishap, the nature of which I missed. I liked that she wasn't perfect, that she's reaching a point where she's ready to start working towards a better life. That she stumbles along the way only made me like her more.

The way that Josie's story intertwines with the zombies trying to achieve freedom from their master story didn't quite work for me. Just as I was caring about Josie's success, it no longer registers as we're entirely wrapped up in the zombie plotline.

As for the zombie story, the book is full of flashbacks or bits and bobs of information about the zombies' individual deaths/zombifications, as well as Josie's past. For me, these broke up the flow of the story. The pacing was shot, and I had to push through rather than being swept up in the tale. I thought the story in the present was good, but I wanted more. I didn't feel like the story gave me enough to satisfy - I was left feeling a little bit: "so what?" And to be fair, the story ends on a fantastic cliffhanger. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, I was feeling rather meh about the whole thing.

Bottom line:

Zombified has some great ideas, but the pacing was too muddled for me and I never really sank into the story.

3 stars
For fans of Voodoo-related stories, Katrina/hurricane

No comments:

Post a Comment