Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review: Married with Zombies (Living with the Dead #1) by Jesse Petersen

Married with Zombies (Living with the Dead, #1)Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been following the author of this book on Twitter (@jessepet) almost as long as I've had a Twitter account, so I've been meaning to pick up the book for a long time. It wasn't until Audible put it on their $4.95 sale that I got around to it, though. I found it well worth the sale price, and not a book to dither over.

Married with Zombies is about Sarah and David, a couple in therapy after five years together have worn on them more than a little. They've both googled divorce lawyers, and they feel like they're circling the drain.

Then, they get to their marriage counselor's office, only to find her eating the Wilsons, the couple she sees right before Sarah and Dave. They dispatch her with her own spike heel, fight their way out of the office, and make it home. David catches on what's happening, but Sarah doesn't believe it until after she has to kill their schlubby neighbor with the toilet seat (which Dave left up - AGAIN!). They decide to fight their way out of Seattle to find refuge at Dave's sister's house in Longview.

The book has a nice dose of dark humor. One character, upon finding out her boyfriend was zombified, declared it's all right, that she was going to break up with him, anyway. Each of the chapters start with self-help advice on saving one's marriage, with a zombie twist. And Sarah's creative use of weapons in killing zombies is good for more than a few comic moments.

The humor doesn't take away from the sense of urgency, either. On the contrary, it balances it out nicely, so that it's the one breath the characters get before the next crisis. Often it's left only to the reader to enjoy irony or the humor in a situation, because the characters are too busy fighting for their lives.

David and Sarah are both given a lot of growth within this book. They start off as a couple on the rocks, and they have to learn to listen to one another, to accept they're better together than apart, and to learn to live in a changed world. They adapt quickly to a life of looting and stealing, and even seem to prefer it over their tight finances in their old lives. But, their zombie survival skills are rusty.

I do have a complaint about the writing, though. Some of the language sounds trite, and words are often repeated several times within a paragraph. The dialogue isn't the most natural I've heard.

Still, those are minor sins, in a book that's a lot of fun to read.

I listened to the book on audio, read by Cassandra Campbell. She captures Sarah's snark pretty well. Though, the edition I bought from Audible had some issues in chapter 3. There were some squawks and squeals that were rather painful. They only happened in chapter 3. I'm going to make sure Audible knows about the problem so they can fix it, because, ow.

I plan on reading the next book in the Living with the Dead series by Jesse Petersen. This book was a lot of fun to read. It was a pleasant surprise.

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