Thursday, February 25, 2010
BATTLE OF THE NETWORK ZOMBIES by Mark Henry
Sensuality Level: Sexy
Rating: 4.5 Enchantments
Celeb zombie Amanda Feral seems to be having a stream of bad luck. Between her car getting repossessed in the parking lot of her mother's strip club; her relationship with Scott breaking up (all his idea) and Elizabeth Karkaroff wanting to get out of the business, which means Amanda would owe her a staggering sum of money she doesn't have, not to mention she owes the reaper her first born, if she'd have one. But there might be a way out of all of this mess. Amanda can't stand Johnny Birch, the weird little wood nymph, but if being a judge on his new reality show will save her, what's wrong with that? Until she discovers Johnny's charred body on the floor of his room and suddenly the show's no more. With some quick thinking on her part, Amanda turns the show into a whodunnit and she's the lead detective, which would be great if she'd ever been a detective before.
What do I like best about the latest in Mark Henry's 'Amanda Feral' series? Hard to say, between the gruesome and sometimes macabre scenes and characters, not to mention all the dark humor, with every scene sometimes so gruesomely detailed, it's hard to pick just one. But perhaps it's Amanda herself, with her sarcastic barbs and outlook on life, especially dark in this particular tale. And who can forget the footnotes, where Amanda talks straight to the reader?
BATTLE OF THE NETWORK ZOMBIES brings the reader back into Amanda's life and she's just as delightful as ever, as are her two good friends Wendy and Gil. Hands down, one of my favorite scenes in the book is when Amanda first arrives at the mansion where the reality show is set to be filmed. Thanks to Johnny's woodland nymph nature, the place is literally alive with vegetation. Amanda meets the unusual Mama Montserrat, who takes an instant liking to her, and an instant dislike to Wendy, who's tagged along on the trip, posing as Amanda's agent.
The fun really begins when the contestants are introduced, a handful of wanna-be bodyguards you'd never imagine. I especially enjoyed some of the new characters Mr. Henry brings to the mix in this one, from Mama Montserrat, the producer of the ill-fated Johnny Birch reality show and possible suspect in Johnny's demise to Hairy Sue, the unusual stripper from Amanda's mother's club and a surprising contestant on the reality show. Who would have figured her for the role of bodyguard? Filled with some memorable characters, including my new favorite Tanesha, and a heck of an unusual mystery, readers looking for something a little dark and twisted won't go wrong picking up BATTLE OF THE NETWORK ZOMBIES.
Mark is the co-founder of both The South Sound Algonquin writer’s group in Washington and the highly regarded (and/or degraded) League of Reluctant Adults, an online cabal of disturbed urban fantasy and paranormal romance writers. He’s a member of the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association and the Fangs, Fur and Fey online writer’s community. Visit him online at http://www.markhenry.us.