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Zombies: They're Not All Brain-Eaters

Zombies: They're Not All Brain-Eaters - Alex Witney A researcher conducting clinical trials for revival of coma patients discovers that OSZ68 serum is capable not only of reviving the mostly dead but also of revitalizing the really dead, most notably their brain tissue. Prozombie factions and legislation alike flow from this discovery, including zombie equality laws to protect zombie rights.

Roy (nonzombie) and Mac (zombie) are friends who go on a vacation together, Mac having attained his exalted state of undeadness by drowning and then being revived with OSZ68. He subsequently loses his job as a lifeguard because of the possibility of his contaminating the water. His barrister defends him thus: “Floating bits of Mr MacReady were negligible [in comparison with] the overwhelming positive, namely that not having to breathe made him perfectly suited as a lifeguard.”

In the course of their vacation, Roy and Mac run afoul of a scientist who’s working on creating more compliant zombies—aka zombie slaves—and discover some of the truth behind the creation of OSZ68. I’d like to have included a nice little summary sentence here, but the book is a cliff-hanger, and I mean a precipitous and precipitate one. So this is it.

Witney has created an entertaining novel that follows the adventures of kinder, gentler zombies than the run-of-the-mill brain-devouring types that rampage (however slowly and stiffly) through so many books and movies. His writing is humorous and at times witty.

I’m not sure who Witney’s target audience is, but the book would probably appeal to teens and zombie aficionados. However, there is a fair amount of profanity in the novel, the dreaded f-word being among the repeat offenders. The story would have been better without the vulgarity.

As is the case with so many indie books, this one suffered from reams of bad editing, which may or may not be the fault of the author because there are so many bad editors out there. Errors included punctuation and word misuse, misspellings, and grammatical faux pas. Here’s a smattering: “He didn’t dislike his job, it had decent hours” [comma splice]; “contemplating the intricacies…was a past time of” [pastime]; “stop him from reverting back to” [reverting to]; “Falkland islands” [Islands]; “two years experience” [years’ experience]; “he said ,in a” [he said, in a]; “investigated., The” [investigated. The]; “viscosity,which” [viscosity, which]; “ever other day” [every other day]; “the doctor was eluding to Goran” [was alluding to]; “Margret Thatcher” [Margaret Thatcher]; “What!?” [What?!].

One of the amusing mental images engendered by the lack of a comma—whose dearth was frequent, alas—was this: “[T]he doctor…was now sitting in front of one of the bubbling liquids taking notes.”

Zombies wasn’t my cup of tea, but people who are fond of the genre will probably like it better and rate it higher.