Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: Wanted: Dead or Undead

Wanted: Dead or Undead
Book 1 of The Zombie West Series
By Angela Scott
Published by: Evolved Publishing March 18, 2012
Formats: eBook, Paperback
~220 pages

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Trace Monroe doesn’t believe in luck. He never has. But when a fiery-headed cowgirl saunters through the saloon doors, wielding shotguns and a know-how for killing the living dead, he believes he just may be the luckiest man alive.
Trace wants to join "Red’s" posse, but she prefers to work alone—less messy that way. In order to become her traveling companion, Trace has to agree to her terms: no names, no questions, and if he gets bit, he can’t beg for mercy when she severs his brain stem. He agrees, knowing only that Red is the sharpest shooter he’s ever encountered. The fact she’s stunning hasn’t escaped his attention either.
What he doesn’t know, is that Red has a very good reason to be on top of her game. She not only has the answer for how they can all outlive the plague taking over the wild, wild west, she is the answer.

The Cover: The cover looks  just like any other Western. Save for a few blood spatters, this looks like it could be another Louis Lamour book. Nothing screams or even whispers Zombie. This is why book descriptions are so important and why one shouldn't just write off a book because it isn't "pretty" like other books on the market.

My Thoughts: Let me start by saying zombies aren't usually my thing. I have read a few zombie books, but they are just usually lacking for me. Thankfully, this was not the case with Wanted: Dead or Undead. Within the first few pages the author, Angela Scott, is able to describe, in detail, the horrors of being eaten by a family member. I was impressed...and grossed out. Sometimes when authors write, they get a little wordy with their descriptions and the showing turns to telling and the reader gets bored. That never happened to me once while reading this book.

I would say that there are two main characters and a sidekick - Trace "Cowboy",  Elisabeth "Red", and Wen, an Asian man they find along the way. The POV switches from Trace to Red which I like because I can see what is happening inside each of their heads. The banter between them is hilarious, mostly because Trace is a smart ass. I seriously wanted to smack him, especially when he tries his macho "I'm a guy, I will protect you" bit. Red on the other hand is a tough, independent girl and will shoot you if you look at her wrong.

As the story progresses, Trace and Red assembles a motley crew along the way. This group forms a family of sorts and bonds together to face the threat of the diseased undead. I think the time period and location is perfect for this book. There aren't any modern conveniences which makes the idea of a zombie Apocalypse more terrifying. How do you find help? And traipsing the desert and vast plains of emptiness? No thank you. They are only able to survive by learning how to protect themselves. Red, uses her guns flawlessly as does Trace and Wen. And if anyone has seen the movie Zombieland will recognise the Double Tap method of zombie disposal. If you prefer hands-on decapitation, there is also some sword and machete action. 

Another thing I found interesting, was the descent of Red's mental stability. Her secret takes its toll and as her encounters with the zombies increase, the cracks in her tough demeanor start to show. Trace on the other hand, starts to find that looking after more than yourself can be a liberating thing. In Trace's case, he found his moral compass.

Wanted: Dead or Undead's ending had some finality to it, but also had a beginning within the ending that leads into the second book Survivor Roundup coming fall 2012. I can't wait to get my hands on the second book and find where the story will lead.

Favorite Quote: "Shoot me in both legs if you must, but I'm telling you right now, I'll find a way to crawl after you."

Favorite Description: "Her blood-soaked nightgown clung to her tiny frame like a second skin, as droplets ran down her arms and dripped from her elbows to pool at her side."

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Zombies, guns and swords oh my! Zombieland meets Tombstone!

FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.

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