I picked up a copy of this book at BEA and then was sent a completed copy by Orbit books.
The Premise: Sarah and David are a young married couple dealing with a disillusionment in each other. They’re constantly fighting and on the verge of a divorce, and going to regular marriage counseling sessions which don’t seem to be working. Things change when at one of those counseling sessions, they’re surprised to discover their therapist feeding on the last client. The zombie apocalypse has arrived, and it may have come at the right time to save their marriage.
My Thoughts: This book is told from the first person viewpoint of Sarah. Sarah is pretty frank and sometimes a little foul mouthed. She and Dave are a young couple, in their early twenties. David recently decided to leave school and is trying to decide what he wants to do with his life, and Sarah is the one supporting them both. When it comes to their problems, I think that there was a bit of a tightrope walk there, particularly because we’re seeing the marriage from only Sarah’s point of view. Her marriage has to sound like it’s on the rocks but with enough there for the reader to want her problems patched up. So in the start of the book, when she complains about her husband, I do feel like she’s overreacting over little things, but she throws in enough suppressed feeling for him for me to see that things could improve. When Sarah and David work together and as an extension of that actually talk to each other, I could believe the progression.
Married with Zombies is like a horror movie – pure entertainment for a few hours, with the same sort of horror movie rules and expectations. One action packed scene quickly follows another as Sarah and David figure out what’s going on and learn how to deal with it. The story progresses like a horror comedy – there’s nasties which the couple has to dispatch, close calls, and death. There are surprises and twists, but like all horror, I don’t expect everyone to come out unscathed. The humor is in the zombie plague bringing the protagonists together, and so each chapter has a tip for zombie killing marital relationships like “Address one issue at a time. You can’t load gasoline, pick up food, AND kill fifteen zombies all at once.”
Overall: Ultimately this book has two things. Zombies and Sarah and Dave’s relationship. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. It’s a quick, pulse-pounding read. If that’s all you want, this delivers. If you are looking for more, I’m not really sure you will find it. In terms of the relationship drama – mmm, it was OK. I guess I thought that sometimes these two were making really obvious mistakes, but that wasn’t really the problem. I think the problem is that there was something missing in the characters themselves, and I didn’t feel like I really get to know them other than they were sort of a generic young urban couple who happen to argue a lot (and kill zombies). Perhaps that will come in the second book, Flip This Zombie, which comes out January 2010 (the third book The Zombie Whisperer is slated for June 2011).