*No contest results to report today*
It’s a western with zombies! Welcome to Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill.
The Story- It’s the wild west, and Jett Gallatin, disguised as a boy, is looking for her long lost brother Jasper. Our story starts in a typical mid west town, Alsop. Jett is in the bar, facing the town bad guy, when zombies attack, killing or taking everyone but her. Having grown up in New Orleans, Jett isn’t as shock by the zombies as the town folk are and is able to keep her wits about her and escape.
Next we have Honoria Verity Gibbons, the daughter of an extreme scientist, traveling the west in a steam powered wagon. Her job is to verify if the claims coming into her father’s lab are fact or fiction, before he heads out to investigate. On her way to Alsop to explore a tale of alien abduction, she runs into White Fox, a white man raised native, on his own quest to discover the secret of another missing town. Together they stumble across Jett as she flees the zombies.
Together all three band together to discover what the heck is going on.
My Thoughts- The story is well written and the characters are deep and full of life. Things start out great, with zombies attacking a small town and leaving no survivors. I was excited to think that it all might have something to do with New Orleans- like woo doo. But, then it turns out to be more of a scientific plague.
There wasn’t much excitement or tension. The three main characters go back to Alsop and basically stay there. They make excursions to Jerusalem’s Wall, a nearby town full of religious fanatics and the home of the zombies. But I wish there had been some chase scenes to ramp up my fear. There also aren't a lot of gore or flesh tearing. That's ok for some, but I like zombie books that make me fear for the character’s lives.
There is a lot of fun involved in trying to figure out how the zombies came into being. They aren’t your typical zombies, and Honoria uses her scientific background to figure out what made them. It’s like a scientific mystery you have to unravel. But, when they do figure it out, it didn’t make much sense to me. Zombies and singing? Not sure about that. But, at least the search for their origins was inventive.
You know what? I think this book is perfect for older readers who want to dip into the zombie world without all the blood and guts of the YA scene. The book is solid, with a strong story line and real characters. If you’re scared to make the jump, start with this book.