My take on Battle of the Network Zombies
Battle of the Network Zombies
Okay, I was looking forward to this one. It sounded like a lot of fun: a zombie glamorista, a mom who is a vampire, and yetis. It was supposed to be a send up of reality TV.
It was all that stuff, really. However, it was the most sexually explicit book I have ever read. I don’t have an objection to people choosing to read that sort of material, but I wasn’t expecting it. It brings up that question of whether or not something needs to intend to arouse to be pornography…most of the sex in the book is…unpleasant, for various reasons. And…hm…how do I want to put this? Based on the conversations in the book, I think a proctologist could get continuing education units reading it.
For me, that was unfortunate. The book was funny. The main character, Amanda Feral, has a definite voice, and an entertaining, snarky one. I thought a nice bit was that there were tons of end notes…and they were basically Amanda’s asides to us (the readers). They were properly formatted for the Kindle: you click the note, read it, then click Back. Many publishers don’t take the time to make that work properly.
It was nice to have supernatural characters who weren’t the run-of-the-mill vampires and werewolves (although those are there, too). You get sirens, and you don’t run into those in every book. There is what I would have known as an aswang, although technically, it’s a manananggal. These diverse characters are brought together into a house as part of a reality show competition, to find a wood nymph a bodyguard.
There is a mystery, but it isn’t too hard to figure out. Like some other mysteries, it’s more fun to see how the “detective” goes about solving it than in trying to figure it out yourself.
So, there was a lot of potential here. For me, though, the explicitness ruined it…even though I know some other people would find that perfectly acceptable. Particularly odd (and unpleasant) for me was an appendix that wasn’t connected to the story…and featured explicit underage sex, with no supernatural element.
I think that gives you a pretty good idea. Very modern, snarky, strong characters, nicely constructed fantasy world, funny…and completely not safe for work (and many homes).
By the way, I have to say…the new animated series (debuting this week on Comedy Central), Ugly Americans, seemed to me to be somewhat similar. I haven’t seen that one yet, so I’m not sure how close…but the problems of supernatural creatures in modern society with irreverent humor…let’s say it struck me as possibly the same flavor of ice cream.
If you do like Battle of the Network Zombies, there are two other books in the series…up to you.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.