Book Review: Diana Rowland’s How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back

Posted November 17, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Diana Rowland’s How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove BackHow the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland
is a Horror, Urban Fantasy
This edition was published by DAW Books on July 1, 2014 in paperback and has 336 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon..

three-stars

Fourth in the White Trash Zombie comic urban fantasy horror series about Angel Crawford, a zombie from the wrong side of the tracks who’s makin’ good. Based in Louisiana.

My Take

The action is goin’ on, all right. Philip’s health problems are mirrored in Angel’s body, and they’re increasing in frequency and severity. It doesn’t help that they’ve suddenly lost most of their support.

It’s kidnappings, harrowing escapes, unexpected retribution, and nasty revelations with an odd combination of good and bad…writing-wise, I mean. Good tension with not knowing whom to trust. Totally unexpected reveal…whew… The fun of a well-funded escapade…*grin*… The horror of Saberton and its CEO. Andrew’s reactions certainly keep things moving between his hatred for his mother, but his reaction to the family business…ewww… It’ll be interesting to see how he copes in White Trash Zombie Gone Wild, 5.

I did feel some of it, if only because I do have a good imagination. Unfortunately, Rowland wasn’t much on the show. I was annoyed with some of Angel’s reactions as well. She was so chirpy in the dumbest situations, which did not contribute to pulling me in.

I did like the realism of Kyle’s initial reactions when everything first went balls up. And Brian’s behavior certainly keeps things TENSE. A bit of sadness as well when Dr. Nikas reveals his past to Angel. Prejudice is an ugly thing.

Hooey, that bar scene at Pillar’s was exciting…I kinda wish Angel had gone a bit further.

I can understand pride, but Angel’s stubbornness was annoying. Hullo? It’s an op. It’s not like they’re on a vacation! Although, then again, I can understand her frustration with Naomi’s unawareness of how money works. As for Andrew’s excuses… No, uh-uh, no-how, I ain’t buyin’ it. He made his choices; he can’t blame Julia for making hers.

Ooh, baby, I do like that Jane! That girl can really think under pressure. It’ll kill me to have to wait to get ahold of White Trash Zombie Gone Wild.

Now, if we could only sic Jane on that horrifying Nicole and her security people. Jesus. How anyone can do things like this to others???

And I’m still wondering if Nick has a thing for Angel…

The Story

It’s zombie versus zombie as the Saberton Corporation declares war against the Zombie Mafia, kidnapping too many of their party. It falls to Angel to lead the remnants of her Krewe halfway across the country to claw their way through corporate intrigue, zombie drugs, and undead trafficking to rescue her friends — and expose the traitor responsible for their abduction.

It doesn’t help that Philip is seizing up, barely surviving…

The Characters

Angel Crawford, a.k.a., ZeeEm, is was dyslexic white trash with a drug habit. Now she drives a morgue van, has gotten her GED, and is working with Dr. Leblanc and others in the morgue. Happy. Off the drugs. Her relationship with her dad on the mend. Dad is a reformed (we hope) alcoholic who’s going on a date with Tammy Elwood. She tends bar down at Kaster’s.

The Krewe is …
…the team on the run: Philip Reinhardt had been undercover for Pietro at Saberton until Angel was forced to turn him into her Zombie Baby, a.k.a., ZeeBee ( Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues, 2). Naomi Comtesse, Angel’s best friend, now works as security for Pietro; her undercover name had been Heather Miller when she was actually Julia Saber. She’s dating Kyle Griffin, one of Brian’s top security guys.

Brian Archer is a zombie and head of Pietro’s security.

The Tribe is…
…a loose confederation of zombies and their businesses led by Pietro Ivanov — Angel calls ’em the “Zombie Mafia”. His “nephew” is Marcus Ivanov, a zombie policeman whom Angel is dating. Dr. Jane Pennington (she has doctorates in political science and law) is a federal congresswoman to whom Pietro has recently proposed. Victor is her zombie bodyguard.

Rachel Delancey is Brian’s second-in-command with a hate-on for Angel, Philip, and Kyle. Simon Sirtis and Ken Godwin are some of the drivers. Raul, Dan, Chris Peterson, and Lawrence Hawkins are more members of the security force.

Dr. Ariston Nikas is another zombie, and he runs the zombie research lab where Angel works part-time. Jacques Leroux and Reg are Nikas’ lab techs. John Kang had been one of Naomi’s best friends and the first zombie Angel ever knew. Now he’s a head.

The St. Edwards Parish Coroner’s Office is…
…where Angel works. Dr. Leblanc is the pathologist with great faith in Angel. Allen Prejean is the Coroner’s Office chief investigator who still sees Angel as a screwup. Nick Galatas, formerly known as “the Prick”, is one of the death investigators while working toward a medical degree and has been a real help to Angel. Derrell is Angel’s usual partner, i.e., death investigator.

Saberton Corporation is…
…a family corporation run by the Sabers. Nicole Saber is the CEO of Saberton and the twins’ (Andrew and Julia) psychopathic mother. Julia Saber carried on from her grandfather, Richard Saber, doing industrial espionage for Saberton. Dr. Kerazny is the head of R&D. Thea Braddock is in charge of regular security. Special Security includes: Boat Launch Guy is Edwards, Perfect Eyebrows is Pierce Gentry, Ferguson, Davis, Gordon, Jenkins, and Rutledge.

Saberton has been performing pseudo-zombie experimentation using mostly unwilling participants in a variety of projects including the Zoldier project under Dr. Kristi Charish‘s direction, a neurobiologist currently under Pietro’s guard and working for the zombies. Boo-yah! Dr. Sophia Baldwin, an old friend of Marcus’ from high school, had explained the parasite theory to Angel.

Randy had been Angel’s old boyfriend. Carol Ann is Randy’s current bed partner; she has ambitions for more. Debbie Stewart is her dishonorable friend. Clive is a drug-dealing friend of Randy’s who lies his weasely heart out. Rick Belluci is a loudmouth racist who used to be a drinking buddy of Angel’s dad. Jennifer is the expensive dyslexia specialist who is tutoring Angel. Dear John’s Café is owned by John Hickey with his own gimmick and good food (with free WiFi). Top Cow is a café with good food, lousy service…and the first place Marcus and Angel had had lunch. Bill is the bartender at Pillar’s Bar.

Freddie is the burly sensei teaching Angel basic jiu jitsu. Chance is another student. Sarah Lynn Harper had been a movie extra in White Trash Zombie Apocalypse, 3. Brenda Barnes had been another extra. Miss Chastity Turner resorts to the old “do you know who I am” gambit. I hope Angel can go back for a “discussion” with “Shop Dude”, a.k.a., Jerome Womack, the antiques dealer.

Ports are an easy way to deliver the mods, a.k.a., modifiers, specialized drugs that rev up or tone down the zombie parasite’s activity on demand. The Plague is a one-size-fits-all bucket of the pains resulting from the bad-brain concoction Charish “cooked up”.

The Cover and Title

The cover is rather gruesome with the bleeding, scarred, and smokin’ Angel framed in a tangle of white-and-black sock-clad legs and other severed limbs in this gray-white-pinky red cover. It’s an even paler pink that forms a good part of the title with a dark pink forming the rest of it. The author’s name is more of a pastel pink outlined in black at the bottom.

The title leaves me wondering (especially after the ending). Is it a positive or a negative in how How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back? It could go either way…!

three-stars

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