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Review: Death to Stereotypical Zombies

By: Linda M. Crate

death of a darklordAs a writer and an avid reader to boot I’m always looking for new books. My friend’s suggested since I’m such a vehement supporter of Dram Stoker and ancient mythic type vampires Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. I was little overwhelmed when I noticed it was an ongoing series, and I’d have a long way to catch up. I still haven’t worked up the nerve to take on the daunting task.

However, when I was browsing the bookshelves at Barnes and Nobles one day I found a book that captured my interest. It was swimming with green and black and a young woman on the front of the book looked like a tomboy. My interest was piqued especially when combed in with the title Death of a Dark Lord. I picked the book up and read the back sleeve for the gist of the book, and upon reading it knew instantly it would be the type of book I’d be interested in. I’ve always loved medieval fantasy the most of all fantasy tales — I don’t know why. Maybe because it transports the reader back to the era where they have no connections to the roots of their current problems.

I laughed when I noticed that the author was Hamilton. Of course, the irony was thick there. However, I thought it would give me an opportunity to see if I indeed liked her style of writing enough to take up the helm of the Blake series.

I was mesmerized by Laurell’s style of writing. The prose was so perfectly poised and wonderfully worded — the characters just drew me hungrily in.

The major kicker was when the zombie entered the picture. I had only been anticipating magic in this mystical tale, but I’ve found out from my friends since that Hamilton’s Anita is obsessed with zombies (so, of course, one can draw the observation that Laurell must like them, too). However, this zombie isn’t one that you’d recognize as a zombie right off the bat. He looks normal enough and he even talks. It’s only when the protagonist Elaine asks the ‘man’ his name that he replies: “The dead have no names.” This made me insanely happy. So long have I tired of zombies that grunt and groan and drag their arms slowly or quickly depending on the folklore or movie you’re watching — brainless buffoons that simply want to eat your brains. This one had intelligence and mischief on it’s mind. I found that intriguing.

The story ends in such a way that one would think that there would be a sequel. However, I haven’t found it — maybe it doesn’t exist as of yet. After all, no one I’ve talked to has even read the book — I’ve passed it around to a friend or two, but we seem to be the only ones that know of it’s existence. I would recommend it to anyone who likes zombies, good literature, and is looking for an enjoyable read. It’s fantastically written and ghoulishly fun.

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