The voices do serve their purpose, though—whenever Donna hears them, she knows she’s in danger. So when they start yelling at the top of their proverbial lungs, it’s no surprise she and her best friend, Deke, end up narrowly escaping a zombie horde. Alone without their families, they take refuge at their high school with the super-helpful nerds, the bossy class president, and—best of all?—Liam, hottie extraordinaire and Donna’s long-time crush. When Liam is around, it’s easy to forget about the moaning zombies, her dad’s plight to reach them, and how weird Deke is suddenly acting toward her.
But as the teens’ numbers dwindle and their escape plans fall apart, Donna has to listen to the secrets those voices in her head have been hiding. It seems not all the zombies are shuffling idiots, and the half-undead aren’t really down with kids like Donna…
Donna of the Dead is a fast-paced, humorous, and intricate zombie novel for lovers of all things zombie. I love that Donna hears voices, and while they aren’t always specific about what she needs to do, they are definitely the voice of reason, and I just love her inner-monologue. Donna states at one point, “Hollow-eyed zombies trail behind me like I’m the pied piper of the undead,” a statement and situation that made me snicker as I imagined it, as did much of Kemper’s entire novel as she sets the stage for zombie world domination.
Beginning on a cruise ship, a setting that is sure to capture readers’ attention, as it did mine—can you imagine a zombie outbreak on a ship? Oh my—Kemper moves her stage to an abandoned high school and its band of misfits as they attempt to ward off the strange zombie horde… and try to figure out just what, exactly, they really are. I have to admit that I was not anticipating the reveal that Kemper unleashes on readers, but that’s part of it’s allure—I was always guessing what would happen next because this novel really isn’t your typical zombie apocalypse. It’s a fun ride that begins much like many stories that come before it, but ends on a completely different note—and I highly suggest you pick it up if you’re in the mood for something entertaining and different. Four stars.
In exchange for an honest review, Entangled Publishing has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on March 4.