The Horror Honeys: Hardcover Honey's Haunted Bookclub - I, Zombie I

Hardcover Honey's Haunted Bookclub - I, Zombie I

A Hardcover Honey Review - by Jocelyn

"I, Zombie, I" - Jack Wallen

Self-published author (and Friend of the Horror Honeys!) Jack Wallen has written several zombie books and was kind enough to send an early work along to your Hardcover Honey for review recently.  

"I Zombie I" starts off with a literal bang, as a mysterious device purported to solve the world energy crisis ("The Generator") seemingly goes off without warning and decimates the city of Munich (and, as it turns out, much of the rest of the world as well).  Journalist Jacob Plummer (a cocky single dude in the Captain Mal vein from Firefly), in town to cover the unveiling of the device, is mostly unharmed, and "I Zombie I" is posited as Jacob's written record of events.

Upon exiting his hotel, Jacob quickly comes across the first zombie, who he dubs "Flaky" - unfortunately for Jacob, he gets a little too close to Flaky and is the victim of a zombie bite.  He's able to get away, however, and using Twitter (a nice timely touch) he meets up with a scared young pre-teen named Susan, who claims to be the daughter of The Generator’s inventor, Dr. Lindsay Godwin (great name choice!).  On his way to Susan's location, he evades a few more nicely-drawn zombies in some very cinematic scenes.  Once he and Susan join up, they head for the ground zero site of The Generator's unveiling, where they come across Dr. Godwin, who is dazed but alive.  The three continue on and, using Twitter again, contact and rescue a woman named Bethany Nitshimi, who quickly joins their group.  

Eventually the quartet make their way to the supposedly impenetrable lab of Dr. Godwin - and here's a quick tip for those of you who have never read a zombie book before, anyplace that is alleged to be someplace "they will never be able to get in!", it's probably just a matter of time before the horde gets inside.

OK, so, the set-up is in place, and amidst the running and the hiding and the dodging, secondary plotlines develop, some more believable than others.  Jacob starts to experience some minor blackouts and seizures, which continue to increase in severity. Bethany, aside from being the object of Jacob’s affection, turns out to have some very useful computer skills, Susan has some secrets of her own, and the good doc Godwin turns out to be not so good after all......

There were some nicely done escape sequences and I LOVE some good apocalypse porn, like I Am Legend which is referenced by "I Zombie I".  Wallen clearly has a passion for his subject and an encyclopedic knowledge of zombies, pop culture and the like.  Overall, this was a quick read with enough to recommend it.  The coincidences were at times a little too legion for me and, other than running in and out of the lab as Jacob's zombification progressed, not much really happened to this hardy band of survivors, but you could certainly say the same about Season Two of “The Walking Dead” and people seemed to love that.  Although everything in this book didn’t work for me, I did truly like the ending, which I found more original than most (no spoilers) and I appreciated the set-up for a sequel that focuses on a kick-ass woman as a protagonist. 

Hardcover Honey Verdict: Three out of five crazed zombies for this one!