Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{January 24, 2014}   {Review} I, Zombie by Jo Michaels

I ZombieFrom Goodreads: It’s the end of the world as we know it.

Trixie Collins is a normal teen making her way through high school. One night at a party, a boy comes on to her and won’t take no for an answer. As she jerks her arm away, his fingernails cut into her skin.

When she finds her dog’s mutilated body and realizes she’s to blame, she starts to think maybe the zombie apocalypse they’ve been screaming about on the news isn’t a hoax after all. Worse, she begins to think maybe she’s one of the infected.

Now it’s a fight for life as she joins together with her brethren to stop the humans intent on destroying them. Are zombies all bad, or is it just a huge misunderstanding?


When I think of zombies, I generally think of the deranged creatures that give us nightmares.  In I, Zombie, Michaels combats this mentality by turning the zombies into the good guys, the heroes.  This is one of the reasons I really wanted to read this novel—it’s a different take on zombies, giving readers food for thought as the story progresses.

Fairly soon after the story begins, Trixie finds herself turning into the “walking dead,” having caught a virus from one of her peers at a party.  From here we learn about her ability to read minds—a gift that is glanced over quite quickly and never thoroughly fleshed out, and the novel then begins a fast paced race to the end.  While I found the mainstream reaction to a zombie apocalypse quite realistic, the rest of the novel seemed a little too far-fetched for me as a reader, and I’m sorry to say that, overall, this novel just wasn’t for me.

Truth be told, some of the events and situations within the novel weren’t believable for me as a reader.  Early on in the novel, Trixie and Jack, teenagers, figure out the cure for the zombie apocalypse and send it to a medical office before any of the world’s great scientist are able to even get close to a cure.  This just didn’t seem real to me, nor did Trixie herself.  Her thought process, her ability… it all just seemed to be a little too neat and unrealistic.  For instance, the conversations between Trixie and her mother felt artificial to me as they were always lighthearted and understanding.  If my daughter ate the family dog, I would not be calm about it. Likewise, I wouldn’t be able to tell my only child to go out and risk her life for the greater good.  Thus, I personally felt like the interactions within the novel were a bit superficial.

There seemed to always be a ready answer to every problem, each perilous situation was quickly alleviated, and there really wasn’t any point that I felt the characters were in extreme danger.  It’s almost as if every time something bad was about to happen, the situation smoothed itself over, making as little waves within the story as possible, fixing the problems nearly as soon as they began.  It’s a relatively short novel, a stand alone, so perhaps a little more fleshing out of scenes and characters would alleviate this pattern I saw while reading, but overall, I thought it was a little too fast-paced without giving enough explanation or peril.  It’s a great premise, but it just wasn’t for me.  Two stars.

2 stars

 I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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19073822From Goodreads: Alex Cronlord has failed.

The zombie apocalypse that she foresaw months ago has come to pass–in part because of her visions. Trapped in the now-quarantined city of Dallas, Alex struggles both with the undead and with her own guilt. She blames herself for the fall of Dallas, for leaving FBI Agent Moira McBain to die, and for the lies she’s still telling her father. When Zach, her friend and fellow superpowered fighter, makes a startling confession, it only increases Alex’s inner turmoil.

Unknown to Alex, Moira is still alive. Imprisoned in an alternate dimension and facing certain death, Moira receives help from an unlikely source. To get home, she must fight her way past both the soul-sucking Xorda and a frightening and mysterious group of werewolves. She knows who her enemies are. But can she trust her only ally?


This novel had me on pins and needles as I read, jumping back and forth between the perilous adventures of Alex Cronlord as she battles the zombie apocalypse she unwittingly released on Dallas based on a Weaver premonition, and Agent Moira as she attempts to escape the confines of the Xorda world.  Complete with soul sucking demons, lycanthrope monstrosities, harrowing escapes, sorrowful deaths, and time warping, this novel has a little bit of everything for everyone.

So much has happened to Alex in the past few weeks, and with the weight of the zombie apocalypse and the death of Agent Moria on her shoulder’s, Alex has had about enough.   This young woman can’t seem to catch a break, so it comes as no surprise that she’s willing to give up her own life in more ways than one if it means putting a stop to it all, even if it means she’ll erase her entire existence from the world.

I loved the deeper glimpse readers obtain through the past events that happen at Pinnacle with Alex’s mother, Ainsling.  In book two, The Void, we begin to learn about the events at Pinnacle that started it all, with Sigmund, Xorda extraordinaire, targeting Ainsling from the very beginning.  But in this third installment, we learn even more as Alex stumbles onto an ability that has the power to stop Sigmund and the zombie apocalypse forever.  But will she succeed?

Abramowitz keeps his readers on edge with his perfectly timed cliff hangers interspersed within the novel. Jumping from one point of view to another, readers find themselves at the climax of an important scene only to be whisked away and dropped into the thoughts and adventures of another.  I absolutely adore this type of writing style as it keeps the reader on their toes.  Expertly crafter, readers experience an emotional rollercoaster as they jump between characters, and what makes it work so seamlessly is that each time readers are dropped into another character’s experience, it picks up exactly where the original cliffhanger left off a few chapters prior.  So, while readers may groan as the shift in character takes place, leaving them hanging, they are quickly thrown right back into the story as a previous cliffhanger begins to resolve itself.  This is ingenious and I highly enjoyed it and can’t wait for the fourth and final novel.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review prior to its release on December 10, 2013

et cetera
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