Amy Rosenkoetter's Reviews > Married with Zombies

Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen
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's review
Feb 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: sci-fi, zombie, romance, humor, series
Read in February, 2011

Jesse Petersen's debut novel is a great, fun read. It moves almost as swiftly as the Zombie Invasion itself. (And that moves really fast, just so you know. Forewarned is forearmed!)

I admit, I bought the book because of the cover. Who doesn't want to read something with the tagline "The Couple Who Slays Together Stays Together"? I've really only ever had a marginal interest in zombies, but I have several friends who are rabid fans of the genre (don't worry, I got my shots) so I gave it a whirl. I really liked the approach of this book. The cover caught my attention, yes, but the story held it.

Meet Sarah and David, a thoroughly dysfunctional married couple on the cliff-edge of divorce. They fight. A lot. They get on each others' nerves at the best of times and admittedly this is .... not it. Honestly, I can't imagine going through a holocaust of this magnitude with someone I love, much less someone whose voice chafes like ill-fitting pants, but they not only survive, they thrive in this crazy atmosphere. Amazingly, the characters actually grow in these first few days of the invasion.

Appropriately enough, their first encounter with a zombie occurs in their marriage counselor's office where the doc is no longer shrinking heads, but eating them - or their contents, anyway. Thankfully, it's the heads of the Wonderful Wilsons, the couple with the appointment before Sarah and David's, else we might not have this creative chronicling of the most invasive epidemic to face the country.

The Zombie Invasion starts in Seattle where David and Sarah live. Considering that Seattle is also the home of the prototype invasive force in the form of little green coffee shops, the Zombpocalypse seems a natural progression. Hm. Now that I think of it, this bears some contemplation (and may be where Petersen got her inspiration).

Anyway, considering all the caffeinated Seattleites, I'm not all that surprised at the speed with which zombies actually move. Unlike Night of the Living Dead, the zombies in this story are pretty zippy, which is one of the few departures from traditional zombie arcana that I found. Sarah and David actually test and make use of movie lore as they fumble through the first days of infestation and make reference to such films as Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and the entire Resident Evil franchise.

Married With Zombies is a quick read alternating bouts of gory, gruesome, horror-flick action worthy of Rob Zombie himself (HA!) with dry humor. Each chapter begins with a piece of sage marital advice that sounds as if it came from the Ladies' Home Journal's new Zombie-era column, "How the Zombpocalypse Saved My Marriage." I hope she continues the tradition in the next book (there are now three in the series). The second book, Flip This Zombie, came out last month and the next, Eat, Slay, Love is due out later this year.

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