Saturday, April 05, 2014

Zurvival Saturday (89) Review: Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) by F.J.R. Titchenell

This week I'll be reviewing the upcoming Jelly Fish Press Release, Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) by F.J.R. Titchenell. If you read my post last week you'll know that this was one I'd been waiting to read. How did it finally stack up against the anticipation? Keep on reading to find out!

Author:  F.J.R. Titchenell
Genre: Zombies, Horror, Young Adult
Publisher: Jelly Fish Press
Expected Publication: May 6, 2014

 

The world is Cassie Fremont’s playground. Her face is on the cover of every newspaper, she has no homework, no curfew, and no credit limit, and she spends her days traveling the country with her friends, including a boy who would flirt with death just to turn her head. Life is just about perfect—except that those newspaper headlines are about her bludgeoning her crush to death with a paintball gun, she has to fight ravenous walking corpses every time she steps outside, and one of her friends is still missing, trapped somewhere in the distant, practically impassable wreckage of Manhattan. Still, Cassie’s an optimist. More prone to hysterical laughter than hysterical tears, she’d rather fight a corpse than be one, and she won’t leave a friend stranded when she can simply take her road trip to impossible new places to find her, even if getting there means admitting to that boy that she might just love him, too. Skillfully blending effective horror with unexpected humor, this diary-format novel is a fast-paced and heartwarming read.


Review
Zombie books these days don't usually follow likable teenage protagonists, when they do they seem to be filled with either Warrior Princesses channeling the likes of Xena, Broody boys whose every decision is decided by which girls pants he is trying to get into, or my favorite (note the sarcasm) the characters act ambivalent to the carnage going on around them because they have problems (often petty) of their own to sort out. Whatever the issue I've read it and most likely harped on those characters for it. Then I read Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer and my world was rocked. Cassie Fremont wasn't like those characters mentioned above. She wasn't self centered, she didn't have mad ninja reflexes that made her untouchable, she wasn't even as spoiled as I thought she'd be. Instead Cassie was kind, smart, witty, selfless even and best of all a Survivor. Which leads me into confession # 1 of why I liked this book so much. Cassie rocked! Really no complaints.

Another thing, I really enjoyed about Confessions is the balance of humor and horror. While the journey the group takes is obviously Zombie filled and scary the characters never give in to the terror. Instead they try to make the best out of their situation and if that means laughing every now and then at the absurdity of Zombies even existing in their world in the first place so be it. These characters knew things were bad they knew the death toll was huge, they didn't however need to spend the entire book mourning those they lost and I'm sort of grateful for that.

Lastly, my favorite part of the story was the way the Author built up the story. Generally I like to know how exactly the Zombies start to rise  before the main arch begins but in this particular story the kids are tucked away at a Scouting retreat cut off from the world at large. The very first indication of Zombies happens by pure accident and even then nobody takes Cassie's claims seriously because the concept of the dead rising is so absurd. Of course by days ends we know she's right but by then it's too late and before you know it a full blown apocalypse has started. The beginning might have been slowly built up but once the Action truly starts it's a non-stop thrill ride of Zombie slaying goodness.

Now even though I really enjoyed Confessions I did have a few small annoyances with the story that kept me from rating it higher.

First off, while I loved the lightheartedness of the novel it at times felt a bit too safe for the characters. I get they stuck to low population centers most of the time but surely even they would've had a bit more than shown even if they were just trapped in cars or in stores along the way.

Secondly, I wish more survivors were encountered. We meet small pockets across the country but none of them choose to leave with the group and instead stay in the area where they were found. I think the kids having new personalities and ideas infused into the group would've been nice.  This could've also been a nice way to pair up other characters romantically instead of just the main couple.

Lastly, perhaps my biggest issue with the story was the inaccurate representation of the Tulsa Zoo. I get that the story is fiction but if you're going to use a real world location the details better be right. I know the Tulsa Zoo you can't see the Cheetah from the lions or tiger enclosures. Also the Cheetah is kept in electronically. Yes the Zoo has a tall fence surrounding it but it isn't one you can wall on or even fall into the enclosure off of. It's chain link for christ sakes. Actually once that electricity went down the cheetah would've probably just jumped onto the observation deck and went hunting down the Zebras or the annoying ostrich who likes to tease it next door. Yes, this bugged me and probably more than it should but it took me completely out of the story as my mind tried to place exactly where the characters were

Final Thoughts
Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer might not of turned out exactly as I expected but in the end that doesn't matter. Confessions from its very first to very last page was a highly enjoyable, humor filled, well written, Zombie book. I really hope the Author decides to write either a sequel following up with these characters or even a companion would be cool following some of the people they met along the way. With that being said, I'll be rating Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That  I Know Of) by F.J.R. Titchenell ★★★★.

 *Copy provided by Author.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way  for providing them.

About the Author
F.J.R. Titchenell is an author of Young Adult, Sci-Fi, and Horror fiction. She is represented by Jennifer Mishler of Literary Counsel and lives in San Gabriel, California with her husband, Matt Carter, and their pet king snake, Mica.
 
To arrange an appearance, interview, or book signing with F.J.R. Titchenell, contact D. Kirk Cunningham, Head Publicist for Jolly Fish Press, at kirk@jollyfishpress.com.



Follow F.J.R. : Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Website
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Out of curiosity, Have you read heard Confessions? 
If yes, Have you be read it?
Do you like Zombedies or do you prefer traditional stories better?

 Leave me your answers in the comments below or feel free to tweet me them @Hermyoni  

Well that about wraps up this weeks Zurvival Saturday. Like what you see? Please share! I thank you if you do.  Want to check out past Zurvival Saturday's? Click Here
 

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