Sunday, January 24, 2016

How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland

Our favorite zombie Angel Crawford has come a long way from her days as a pain-pill-addicted high school dropout with a felony record. After a year highlighted by murder, kidnapping, and the loss of her home, all she wants to do is kick back, relax, and maybe even think about college.

But when key members of the “Zombie Mafia” go missing, she has no choice but to get involved. Angel is certain Saberton Corporation is behind the disappearances, yet she can’t shake the sense that a far deeper conspiracy is at work. With the small band of friends she can trust, Angel strikes out to track down the missing zombies.

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The Angel we've come to know and love is back, and this time she gets yanked WAY out of her comfort zone when Saberton makes a bold move against the Tribe (as her group of zombie friends calls themselves). Anxious not to let her friends down, she goes all in on the rescue efforts and learns a bit more about herself, her capabilities, and her limits. She learns how to shine, and how to be more than she ever thought she could be, but will the stress and constant demands of the operation and her new lifestyle end up proving too much for a simple girl from the bayou to handle?

Thusfar in the series Angel has shown that she can be equal to any challenge set before her. Always ready to rise to the occasion, she often surprises even herself with what she's able to accomplish when she sets her mind to it. It's not always easy, and she really has to struggle and work at it sometimes, particularly when it comes to most scholastic endeavors. Still, she has a good head on her shoulders and she doesn't let even the difficult studying stand in the way of getting what she wants. We are given hints toward the end, however, that it might all be proving a bit too much for her. Will she be able to keep it together in the long run? Only time will tell.

A lot of the story here was relatively predictable, at least in broad terms, though there were a few twists and surprises thrown in to keep things interesting. It's interesting to see how Angel continues to insist on being an active participant in her relationships with others, and won't let them just make decisions that affect her without consulting her. Yet she also shows that she knows how to compromise, and can recognize when it's best to let someone else make the decisions due to their knowledge and experience.

I had fewer issues with the para-military/secret ops type storylines here than I have in previous books in the series. Perhaps because this time we were seeing it enacted by those who are often a bit less than professional. Angel has little to no experience with such things and is operating largely in a fake-it-till-you-make-it mode, and even those who do have training and experience are operating with handicaps either physical, emotional, or both. Add in the fact that they're largely on their own and working with make-do provisions and equipment in some cases and the whole thing takes on a much more realistic tone that I found much easier to get on board with and was actually entertaining. It's a fresh take on things, and various issues are raised that will no doubt continue to have effects later on.

Anyone who's been following the series will definitely want to read this one as well. While the basics of what has come before are explained, I still don't think I'd recommend anyone start with this book. You'll have a much better idea of what's going on and a much better appreciation for the characters if you start at the beginning and follow it through. This series is definitely on my "would recommend" list and each volume only further cements its place there.

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