Book of the Day

White Trash Zombie Unchained

White Trash Zombie Unchained

By Diana Rowland

DAW
$7.99
ISBN 978-0756408244
Published September 5, 2017

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White Trash Zombie Unchained

Review by Liz Gatterer

White Trash Zombie Unchained is the 6th book in the WTZ series by Diana Rowland—and it is so much fun! Angel Crawford is a wonderful character and I have enjoyed cheering her on since the beginning of My Life as A White Trash Zombie. She has a heart of gold, a spine of steel, the fight of an alligator, and the mouth of a sailor. Now—she has a brand new body she grew herself!

Zombie-ism, in this version of reality, is not a condition in which the affected is in a perpetual state of decomposition mindlessly searching for brains. Well, at least not most of the time. The mechanism by which one becomes a zombie is best explained as a symbiotic parasite that will keep the host alive as long as a supply of prions is available. Luckily, those prions do not need to be from a warm, fresh brain (although those are quite tasty). Brains can be harvested posthumously and be preserved (and served) in various ways. Working at the coroner’s office has conveniently provided Angel with enough brains to supply her needs.

Becoming a zombie saved Angel’s life—in more ways than one. In her mortal life, Angel was an unemployed, high school dropout and drug-addict. She lived with her alcoholic father in a ramshackle house with a driveway actually made from layers of crushed beer cans. But, through the benevolence of a local police officer—she was transformed into a zombie. The process automatically stopped her drug addiction by the simple fact that drugs and alcohol do not affect zombies. Over the course of the first five books, Angel remakes herself. She gets her GED, enrolls in college, becomes a valuable member of the zombie “tribe,” and a proficient morgue attendant. She even saves her father and buys him a new house with a real driveway. But, she is about to discover that old habits die hard. The reality is that the tendency toward addiction cannot be magically dispelled. Ending the physical addiction is one thing—but it will take real work to make the changes she must to become the person she wants to be. Angel is not at all sure she can do this and thinks that maybe she really is as worthless as people used to think she was.

For fans of paranormal fiction, urban fantasies, and police procedurals, this whole series is just wonderful. If you are familiar with Sookie Stackhouse, Cat Crawfield or Rachel Morgan—you will love Angel Crawford. Rowland’s characters are well developed, her plotlines are linear and there is enough reasonable-sounding science to make the acceptance of zombies plausible. Her real life is as fascinating as the world she has created for Angel. Rowland has been a bartender, a blackjack dealer, a pit boss, a street cop, a detective, a computer forensics specialist, a crime scene investigator, a morgue assistant—and, of course, an award-winning novelist. I imagine that her biography would be just as captivating as her novels.

White Trash Zombie Unchained is a great read—even if you haven’t read the previous books. I also have the audible version performed by Allison McLemore. Her performance is excellent. A Louisiana accent is distinctive and hard to affect if you aren’t a native, but McLemore has it down pat. I recommend fans of audible books give it a try.