My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve always had a tough time when it came to zombies, because majority of the time? They’re just not that interesting to me. I can’t help but envision the dead, shuffling along with their dead selves, wanting to eat every living thing in sight. And honestly, it just gets repetitive. But even though this book had a slow start, I did end up enjoying it a lot!
Let’s first talk about the zombies. In this, zombies are referred to as shamblers, so I will refer to them as such moving forward. Anyway, the shamblers obviously want to eat us, because humans never fail to be the main source of a zombie diet, so because of these jerks, more people are dying and turning into shamblers, leading our Caucasian friends to “need” an Attendant for protection.
What, you may be asking, is an Attendant? An Attendant is a young black woman who is trained in everything necessary for their charge to survive. These young girls are torn away from their homes and brought to school where they learn weaponry and etiquette. This is what our MC Jane is training to become. So, for maybe a good twenty percent or so of this book, she’s at this school, and nothing of note is happening. She gives her teacher a hard time, she gives a classmate a hard time. She reminisces about things from home, and she sneaks around. Blah, blah, blah.
It takes a bit for this book to pick up, but when it finally does, I’m fully engrossed! Jane, along with her classmate Katherine, are forcefully taken to a compound called Summerland, a “sanctuary” of safety. I feel like you can tell by the name that things are likely not going to turn out well…and the fact that it’s a compound… Katherine, being able to “pass” for white, is taken to the fancier part of town, while Jane is immediately out on work detail. This involves her patrolling the fence to make sure there are no shamblers breaches, and making sure to keep the citizens of Summerland safe. I like that she’s not the type to just give in to whatever lot has been handed to her, and she almost immediately finds out that Summerland is not quite the Mecca of sanctuary it’s proclaiming to be. With her knowledge comes more antagonism, and thus, more reasons to fight. She’s the type who speaks before she thinks, which I find leads to her being more entertaining. I know she could come across as annoying to some, but I found her endearing. I liked her brusk manner, and felt that it was big reason why she was so strong, I mean, you’d have to be if you were constantly angering people with your words, right?
But Jane wasn’t the only character I liked. There wasn’t exactly an influx of prominent characters, but I did like Katherine, who was kind of like the angel on Jane’s shoulder, making sure that Jane always knew what she was in for with her actions.
There’s also the character of Jackson, who at one time in Jane’s life played the part of the love interest, but has since become an annoying thorn in her side. I liked seeing him keep Jane on her toes, and though his parts were small, I enjoyed each and every one.
Finally, I should probably bring up Mr. Gideon, a young white man who happens to be in charge of all things in Summerland that involved engineering and the like. He also ends up becoming much more interesting as the book goes on, though that is all I’m going to say about him.
There are a lot of antagonists as well, some more so than others, and these people defintely did their parts in making sure our heroine was forever on her guard, as well as making this be more than just a zombie story.
I’m sure there are more points I could have brought up, but I’m kind of losing track of my thoughts, so I’ll just end this with saying that yes, I enjoyed this, and yes, I will recommend it to all my zombie loving peeps.
(Sorry I didn’t go on about how “life-changing” and “ground-breaking” this book was, being that it had a POC as the MC, as well as her being smart, strong, and independent… No, I wanted to focus more on what I liked about this book, and didn’t feel the need to pander on about the obvious.)