The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Lifestyles

July 2, 2012

Danya Walker: 'Married with Zombies' series mixes gore, laughs

JOPLIN, Mo. — For those of you out there who don’t know, I really like odd, humorous, paranormal books. Family and friends are right now saying to themselves in a sarcastic tone: “Shocking!”

When I discovered “Married with Zombies” by Jesse Petersen on the shelf at the library, I thought the cover looked cute and the premise intriguing. But I figured it would be another zombie book like all the other zombie books out there. Little did I know I would discover a zombie series that would have me guffawing out loud and reading lines to my husband, positive that David and Sarah were exactly how my husband and me would be acting during the zombie apocalypse.

“Married with Zombies” introduces us to Sarah and David, a normal couple who fell in love. But after a few years of marriage, they are now on the verge of divorce. They have decided to give marriage counseling a go but aren’t too hopeful. Engrossed in yet another fight, they get to the counselor’s office, noticing but ignoring the unnaturally light traffic, the security guard missing and other small details. But walking in on their counselor eating the previous clients is a lot harder to ignore.

Sarah and David decide that they are going to try to make it to family, but it’s a long trip and will be difficult with the zombies everywhere. Plus, it’s iffy if they will be able to stop fighting each other long enough to defend themselves from the zombies. One of my favorite scenes from this book is at the beginning, with Sarah killing a zombie in her bathroom, all the while angry at her husband about the toilet seat.

“Flip this Zombie” is the sequel, with the humor and zombies still coming on strong. Sarah and David have become zombie busters after the zombie plague hit because it seems that they have a gift for busting zombies. They have a special request from a new client.

Instead of killing zombies, he wants the zombies collected alive. It turns out he’s a scientist who is working on a cure. But is there more to this “mad” scientist than meets the eye? Will Sarah and David stay together and alive long enough to find out? “Flip this Zombie” was hilarious, filled with lots of action and great dialogue. Working on your marriage, while fighting zombies, makes for a fun new twist on the ever popular zombie genre.

The third book is “Eat Slay Love” and has Sarah and David back, still kicking butts and killing zombies galore. They are trying to make it to the Wall, a supposedly safe area somewhere in the middle of America. With what could possibly be the cure for zombies, they have even more of an incentive to stay alive. The still bickering couple teams up with a former paparazzi reporter, and must decide who they can trust. Throw in David’s zombie issues, cult leaders, and David and Sarah’s normal marital bliss, and everything’s coming up roses -- that is dead, stinking roses.

This is the final book in a great series that has been tons of fun to read. With great characters, quirky plots and lots of zombie killing, these books have a welcome spot on my bookcases with Jesse Petersen as one of my favorite authors. With her humorous tweak on the zombie genre, Jesse Petersen’s books remind me a lot of the vampire books by Mary Janice Davidson, keeping the blood and gore to a manageable level, with gobs and gobs of laughter and sarcasm.

As part of our Adult Summer Reading program, Jesse Petersen will be here 10 a.m. July 14 at the library in our large meeting room. She will be talking about writing, zombies and her books. She will sign books afterward. Copies can be purchased at the program or beforehand at Changing Hands Book Shoppe.

The book geek in me keeps jumping up and down in excitement because getting to meet an author whose books I greatly enjoy is always a thrill.

Danya Walker is the assistant circulation supervisor for the Joplin Public Library.

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