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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Deadtown by Nancy Holzner

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Published: 2009

Pages: 326

Rating: 4/5 Crowns

Synopsis: If you were undead, you'd be home by now...

They call it Deadtown: the city's quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders-but Victory Vaughn, Boston's only professional demon slayer, isn't exactly human.

Review: ZOMBIEEESSSSS!!!  I'm pretty sure most everyone is sick of these right?  They're the new vampire in paranormal and urban fantasy; if someone isn't already writing one based around a zombie they included the 'living impaired' in some other fashion.  Of course that's not the only paranormal creature floating around in Holzner's world, but its the one that drew me first.  I'm a Zombie fanatic, truthfully I'd be happy if there were more Zombie related books (and movies) in the world.  Always been like this ain't no cure for me.

Thing is the world that Holzner creates is a little atypical in today's UF/Paranormal genre.  Whereas you either have everyone trying to maintain the peace amongst normals and paranormals or everyone trying to hide the paranormals from normal folk, there's not a whole lot in between.  In steps Vicky Vaughn and Deadtown.  Three years ago a virus hit and had citizens turning into Zombies, not your George Romero Zombies (all brains, no flash), Zombies just the same.  Scared the beejeezus out of folks and thus was Deadtown born.  If you're not 100% human you have no rights, no civil liberties, no protection unless you're within the borders of Deadtown.  Actually that's not even a guarantee half the time.

For any history buffs out there I'm sure you can think of at least a half dozen examples of this happening in real life.  Its more or less human nature to be afraid of that which isn't the same so its not that big a surprise that when faced with those that really aren't human they corral and segregate with extreme prejudice.  Still the inhabitants of Deadtown seem to have gotten over it, mostly.  As long as no one brings the topic up.  Or hints at it. 

Vicky meanwhile finds herself walking a fine line, she's really only half inhuman, but her occupation makes it more or less more profitable to live on the inhuman side of things.  She's a demon-slayer, a fairly good one at that, getting ready for that one big fight.  Revenge motivates her, but she doesn't let it consume her, something I appreciated quite a bit with this new archetype character of "revenge only" on the mind running amok.  It doesn't hurt to give characters a hobby or two, it fleshes them out and gives them a fuller spectrum.

As this is the start of a planned series we get the prerequisite flux of characters who will all get their time to shine in some later book.  There's the boyfriend, Alexander Kane (workaholic werewolf), new buddy Daniel (human cop), Tina (teenage zombie apprentice) and...everyone else.  After a while I tried to really only zone in on the ones who seemed like they were the most important part of the book currently.  That's pretty much my modus operandi for most urban fantasies nowadays--its the only way to stay sane when the supporting cast can numbers into several dozen in just the first book.  While Tina was interesting, Alexander and Daniel didn't catch my attention.  The set up was pretty obvious, so it took some of the jazz out of the tension. 

Overall I enjoyed this novel quite a lot, enjoyed Vicky and her exploits, and look forward to the second novel, Hellforged.

Duchess of the Dark

Visit Lexie at her blog Poisoned Rationality.

9 comments:

Blodeuedd said...

This one sounds so cool :D

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

I haven't read any Zoombie books but I like the sound of this one!

Falling Off The Shelf said...

I personally love Zombie related books and movies myself. There aren't nearly enough movies out there that are actually worth watching. Luckily the book community has skyrocketed with zombie fiction. I'm definitely adding this one to my wishlist, great review!

Jenni @ Falling Off The Shelf.

Lexie said...

Hey Jenni!
I would suggest looking up a small, slightly more indy movie, called 'Fido' starring Carrie Ann Moss. Its a...unique look at Zombies integrating with society set in the 1950's (instead of World War 1 and 2 rocking America, there was the Zombie Wars). Its quirky and fun!

Blodeuedd and Alaine--thank you! I really can't wait for book 2!

Falling Off The Shelf said...

Lexie,

Thanks for letting me know about Fido! I'm going to check to see if my local blockbuster has it, and if not....off to Amazon I go!

Thanks again :)

Jenni

Lexie said...

No problem Jenni! I'm happy to help out a fellow Zombie lover!!

Oiy I think I need a strong cup of tea, I didn't connect the dots between your name and your blog XD

Falling Off The Shelf said...

Oh not a problem! I'm sure a lot of people are surprised to see my name and blog floating around again. I've been out of the reviewing loop since November! Eeek! So glad to be back though :)

Lexie said...

:D I'm glad you're jumping back on the band wagon then! we'll have to catch up!!

Sarah said...

I am glad you liked this book. I just couldn't get into it like I wanted to.