Monday, October 15, 2018

Zombie Abbey - Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Summary: 1920, England

And the three teenage Clarke sisters thought what they’d wear to dinner was their biggest problem…

Lady Kate, the entitled eldest.
Lady Grace, lost in the middle and wishing she were braver.
Lady Lizzy, so endlessly sunny, it’s easy to underestimate her.

Then there’s Will Harvey, the proud, to-die-for—and possibly die with!—stable boy; Daniel Murray, the resourceful second footman with a secret; Raymond Allen, the unfortunate-looking young duke; and Fanny Rogers, the unsinkable kitchen maid.

Upstairs! Downstairs! Toss in some farmers and villagers!

None of them ever expected to work together for any reason.

But none of them had ever seen anything like this. (Summary and image from

Review: How do you feel about this new trend of reworking classics to include zombies? I’m torn - but I’m also curious enough that when I saw this pop up on our library feed, I really wanted to give it a shot. My expectations were LOW. Like, bordering nonexistent low. I loved Downton Abbey, and I love the zombie genre when it’s properly done, and I really needed brain fluff. Sometimes, you just need brain fluff, you just do!

I’m still surprised at how pleasantly surprised I was.Okay, let’s get the expected stuff out of the way. The characters are fairly one-dimensional. They’re extremely trope-y. There’s not a ton of character development, and when there was any, it was like “oh, this character has hormones! That’s development, right?” Uh, no. The characters are likable enough when they’re supposed to be, but don’t expect to find your newest literary dreamboat. But, again, I don’t expect massive development from brain fluff. 

That being said, the story is intriguing. This isn’t like most zombie “in medias res” stories, which I greatly appreciated. One of the under explored facets of this genre are the beginnings. How does a zombie outbreak start?How long does it take to figure it out? What is the first warning, and what do people actually do? Zombie Abbey does actually delve into that. It’s fascinating, and quite fun, to see the characters come to the realization that something unnatural is happening, how they come to that realization, and then to see them try to fix it and fit this new knowledge into their rigid and rapidly outdated thinking.

Look, high literature this is not. However, if you’re looking for some fun zombie-lit to get you in the Halloween spirit, this may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Rating: Three and a half stars

For the Sensitive Reader: It’s fluffy. And as for zombie lit, it’s clean!

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