that’s the question i had in my head when i started reading Z. though when i read my last zombie book, which was ROT & RUIN, i thought it was exceptional. so why am i feeling zombie fatigue from reading Z?
Z tells the story of a zombie-torcher named josh. not content with killing zombies through his video games, he lets himself get swept away by the thrilling underground world of real-life role-playing. suddenly, he finds himself killing zombies for real–or as real as it can be when you’re killing cybernetic zombies.
but what if these so-called robots are the real thing? josh begins to suspect that something is amiss with his new team of gamers. but it’s not until a close friend is put into danger that josh begins to investigate the real story behind the hush-hush world of zombie-hunting.
after the amazing ROT & RUIN, i have to admit that i’m a little disappointed with Z. they’re not by the same author; and while they are both zombie books, neither one focuses on the same thing. so why am i comparing the two to each other? because ROT & RUIN changed the zombie genre for me. and i was hoping Z would be able to do the same.
Z is an enjoyable-enough read, sure. but at the end of the book, you don’t find yourself praising the book’s ingenuity. you’re just happy that you finished the book. maybe not all that happy with the open ending, but happy that you’ve had an ending.
with ROT & RUIN, we were introduced to the idea of romanticizing zombies. sure, no one’s going to fall in love with a zombie anytime soon (though megan berry, of the undead series, might beg to differ), but jonathan maberry brought forward the idea that these zombies were people too.
we get a similar thing in Z. early on in the book, josh’s mother tells the story of his aunt who got turned into a zombie. and you begin to see josh working out a new perspective on zombie-killing. that is, until he gets invited to the exclusive real-life zombie-hunting underworld. and then, suddenly, his character development gets thrown out the window.
he gets back to the same realization by the time the book ends, but you can’t help but wonder where the author could have taken the story had he: (a) taken out the realization at the beginning of the book; or (b) made the second realization bigger, seeing as the second realization was brought about by a life-or-death situation.
i have to admit, the zombie-game turned me off. i don’t know why, since i enjoyed playing PLANTS VS ZOMBIES, and i remember enjoying BIO HAZARD when it first came out. but for some reason, when josh was playing the game after his mother had told him the story about his aunt, i found it really hard to like josh as a character. and the game he was playing. especially more so when he started his undergound activities.
though i did like the gradual change in his attitude near the end of the book. when he started realizing that things were not as he thought they were. i wonder though if it would’ve worked better had he found out about his love interest’s game plan first before finding out about his best friend’s disappearance.
i’m still trying to decide whether i like the book or not. right now, i’m leaning on the side of the “not.” i feel as if there’s so much wasted potential in the book. but that’s just my opinion. check out some of the others i found online:
torch those z’s
book review: z by michael thomas ford
review: z by michael thomas ford