I shared a recipe
with you in honor of this book last week on Monday and today I am sharing my review! I know we are buried in our NaNoWriMo WIP, at least many of us are (including me) but this is a great review for a nice break if you are looking for a wonderful set of stories including the latest published on October 27th. A great group of goo filled bottles of zombified awesomesauce.
Controlling the Dead is the second in the Famished Trilogy and I am thrilled to finally have gotten this in my zombie goo covered hands! Mind you I had to stalk the author some (coughing, a lot) and found out a secret minion group! (All hail the Minions of the Famished)!
Having read the last one on a whim last year. Honestly, I was attracted to the cover and the fact that it had some really compelling reviews. Notice I did not say, awesome reviews because (yes I can going to use this as a soapbox about reviews, deal with it). The author has managed to get a great balance of honest, strong reviewers and regular readers who have become fan-girls and boys! It was great! So I grabbed it, read it overnight and sat there with my mouth hanging open. Of course the reviews are also awesome!
What is so compelling about this particular zombie book? It isn’t because it is the “best” written book out there, don’t get me wrong it was more than great and I loved it! (It is really hard not to fall in love with Kansas right away). It did not have the most original story, I mean zombies right? How original can you be in with zombies, it is stretch no matter what? Granted, she did have a pretty interesting one, and her world build was very different from most because this was not right or during the outbreak after but years after the outbreak. Seriously what could this writer do to drag a person who is an avid zombie and post-apocalyptic story reader? What new hook? I am not sure there is one particular one exactly, and by this second book she is working on a few. However what she can do is use that ever so talented brain of hers to create an incredible group of characters.
In this oversaturated zombie industry you have to make the story original by creating compelling and believable characters. Author Annie Walls has them in spades and they are believable, flawed, horrible, lovable despicable, disgusting… and all of them blended together created this ride that crept along at fast, slow… sleeping, neck-breaking and nail-biting speed! With the world build so strong it was a perfect marriage of beautifully designed story elements.
The main character, Kansas, or Kan, is still the character I fell in love with during the Taken by the Dead. The people around her are true supporting “actors” in the tale. Her story could not be told without their balance. Their loss could not be had without her there to complete the circle of life, even amidst a world crawling with the undead. It was lovely and horrific, and bloody and just awesomesauce (grin)
Why should you grab this, the first in the series Taking on the Dead and the find the rest of the short stories in the series? Why read this zombie story in comparison to the others, other than I am telling you too ?. Because it truly is a grand story. It has everything you want in a story. Inner struggles, conflicts, romance, death and disappointment and even a bit of hope. There is not a real happily ever after but there is a window of opportunity, and that is what makes it a great series book. When you get to the end you are left satisfied but still yelling and wanting to next one now.
For those who read the first story, this one takes not so much in a linear forward motion but kind of SE (haha well it doers start off in New Orleans) and goes into the realm of Voodon. Oh, ya no……… this is not a zombie story where voodon is the cause of zombies, but …. Well read the title… CONTROLLING the DEAD? Oh no you can’t get away that easily! This book is much more than shambling and occasionally running zombies caused by some virus Miss Annie brings in Voodon and the added aspect of this with book two really brings this up to a new level of awesomeness!
The book is getting a 4 out of 5 and that is because it took way to long for the second book to come out. I had to re-read the first one. I started reading Controlling the Dead and had to stop about 30% through to read Taking on the Dead. I read a lot and this was over 200 books ago. With a break that long and no back story at the beginning even fans were lost. Which would have been my only suggestion if I was a beta-reader. Kind of like a preseason recap!
Make sure you check out my Vegetable Soup inspired by Kansas and her crew!