Review: Married with Zombies by Jesse Peterson

Married with Zombies Jesse PetersonMarried with Zombies

Author: Jesse Peterson
Publisher:
Orbit
Publish Date: September 1st, 2010
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3/5 Decapitation Weapons

Synopsis: A heartwarming tale of terror in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.

Meet Sarah and David.

Once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they’re on the verge of divorce and going to couples’ counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things – the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor, Dr. Kelly, is ripping out her previous client’s throat.

Meet the Zombies.

Now, Sarah and David are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But, just because there are zombies, doesn’t mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don’t eat their brains, they might just kill each other. – Goodreads

Review: I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about Married with Zombies, even after a few days to sit and mull it over. There were some very big pluses, and it’s definitely a pretty unique title within the zombie fiction genre. On the other hand, it broke a lot of the established rules in ways that didn’t always sit well with me. In the end though, I have to admit it’s a great addition to any zombie collection.

The premise is what first caught my attention about this book. David and Sarah are on the brink of divorce when the zombie apocalypse hits and no amount of decapitations can stop their ceaseless bickering. It really is a chick-flick meets zombie movie, and for that, I loved it. The relationship between the two main characters is realistic and at times hilarious and created a new way of looking at the ‘apocalypse helping you discover what’s really important’ trope. There are some other characters that factor in as well that I thought was a fair representation of the types of people that would survive the first days of apocalypse, even if just by sheer luck.

The main thing that Married with Zombies gets noticed for is it’s sense of humor. Jesse Petersen is fantastically funny and always has a great new spin to put on even the most dire of situations. This book is both witty and punny throughout and manages to find good jokes in unexpected places. Sometimes the characters are in on the joke, and for others they are hanging on for dear life while you’re busy chuckling.

What broke the spell for me (in some places at least), was when she took things too far or detracted from the apocalyptic feel that I love in zombie books, all for a laugh. Peterson’s zombies have more higher brain function than you usually see, but instead of using this to become that much more deadly and terrifying, they use it do to things like play slot machines. Yes, there’s a zombie joke to be made about people who zone out while gambling, but it could have been approached in a less obvious way. Between this and the spread of the plague, things never really seemed truly dire. Yes, Sarah and David don’t have an easy time in trying to survive but you never really feel like society is truly doomed.

So, is this a book for die-hard zombie fans? Probably not. You have to look at Married with Zombies as a romantic comedy first, and a tale of the zombie apocalypse second. If you can do that, this is a great book to get lost in while planning out your own zombie survival plan.

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