Zombie Wonderland by Piper Vaughn ~ Book Review by Lirtle

Zombie-Wonderland-cover-2Title: Zombie Wonderland

Author: Piper Vaughn

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 11/13/2015

Length: Short Story (<15K)

Genre: Apocalyptic/dystopian, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Winter Holiday

Blurb:

Nothing says Christmas like droves of the undead….

All Emery wants for Christmas is someone to share it with. It looks like he might finally be getting his wish in Ross, the sexy customer he’s been crushing on for months. But neither of them counted on the zombies or on being caught in the worst blizzard in half a century. Even with a plan for contending with the zombie hordes, surviving will take a miracle.

It’s not exactly how Emery dreamed of spending Christmas with Ross, but he can’t think of a better way to spend a zombie apocalypse.

My View:

Goodness, I love a good zombie story, especially if it’s mish mashed with humor and a bit o the romance type thang. This rightchere give me all three, and more.

I didn’t understand what was happening, but I could tell that there was something seriously wrong with that guy. His skin was a sick, leaden gray, and there were several large gouges down his left side. As he moved, swiping at Ross with clawed hands, I saw the muscle and sinew shifting through those gaping cuts. The sight of it made me shudder.

Poor Emery, he’s knee deep in it, and this is just the beginning.

Vaughn’s descriptions are part of what keep the adrenaline flowing while reading this delish apoco-treat. The energy is a physical thing itself, manifested in the “rules” in this particular zombie-overrun world, as well as the running and the click-it-or-ticket driving and the pelting of the ice pellets while that’s all happening. The creating of an unrelenting sense of immediacy and a narrowing of my focus to this singular day, work together in ratcheting up the intensity as each page passes.

Something else I really like about this story are all of the small details. These things that would normally seem easily surmountable are the very same things that make it a challenge just to survive, impeding the ability to keep on moving, keep breathing. Emery and Ross are in the $&!% and it’s coming closer, and faster, and more and more and more.

I could hear footsteps crunching in the icy snow behind me, but I didn’t look back. I shoved the tip of my shoe into one of the diamond-shaped holes in the fence and started climbing. The fence was about ten feet high, and the cold metal bit into my fingers, but I made it to the top without incidents, hiked my leg over, and started down the other side. At that point I could see Ross through the chain-link, descending the incline with more grace than I had.

The adrenaline is pumping! What’s cool is that, not long after this, a tender and warm moment occurs, showing the ebb and flow of this story and how well that’s accomplished. It also tells us a bit more about these two characters, while keeping us guessing. What will the end bring? How will it end? Will it be gory and horrible? Sweet and sigh-worthy? A mixture of both? Either way, I just know it left me wanting more in the good kind of way.

There are a few spots where some words feel overused in a single paragraph or page, creating a few small hitches in the literary giddy-up. I can’t even find one again to give as an example because I honestly didn’t care due to all of the zombies and gore and hotness.

I also felt like I wanted to know at least a bit more about Ross. We’re in Emery’s head, which is a great place to be for this story, but it made it difficult to always connect with some of Ross’ actions and understand his motivations. This is why I’d love to have another story with these two. 🙂

Emery and Ross have chemistry, along with various skills that might or might not be so helpful during a zombie-pocalypse, complimenting each other. Oh wait, back to the chemistry: ohhhh yeahhh, mmm hmmm. 😉 The intimate scenes between them might not break any new ground but they work.
Note: the copy I own and read was the first edition. Piper Vaugh has since released a second edition as of 11-13-15 under Piping Hot Books. The cover shown and credited artist are for the second edition.

Links

Zombie Wonderland on Goodreads
Self Published
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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