Wanted: Dead or Undead (Book #1 in The Zombie West Series)
by Angela Scott
Summary: Trace Monroe doesn’t believe in luck. He never has. But when a fiery-headed cowgirl saunters through the saloon doors, wielding shotguns and a know-how for killing the living dead, he believes he just may be the luckiest man alive. Trace wants to join "Red’s" posse, but she prefers to work alone—less messy that way.
In order to become her traveling companion, Trace has to agree to her terms: no names, no questions, and if he gets bit, he can’t beg for mercy when she severs his brain stem. He agrees, knowing only that Red is the sharpest shooter he’s ever encountered. The fact she’s stunning hasn’t escaped his attention either.
What he doesn’t know, is that Red has a very good reason to be on top of her game. She not only has the answer for how they can all outlive the plague taking over the wild, wild west, she is the answer.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
When I first read the summary, I was instantly curious. A YA western romance with zombie mayhem? I HAVE to check this out! I’m glad I did, because I loved it.
I love zombies. I love any kind of fiction involving some sort of zombie apocalypse. (Of course, I’m pretty much of a fan of any kind of apocalypse and other awesomely terrifying fictional creatures, like vampires.) I don’t know why, but I think it’s so creative and so much fun to think about.
But one of the problems I see with a lot of zombie fiction is that the survivors or main characters are just the worst survivors ever and make mistake after mistake only to still be alive. (The Walking Dead is a good example.) And in a few zombie shows or movies, the women make me want to pull my hair out. (Lori from the Walking Dead is a great example.) So when I started reading and was introduced to Red, I clapped inside my head. FINALLY! A strong, no bull, shoot ‘em in the head, chick zombie killer. She is an awesome character, just oozing with strength and confidence.
Trace was a great character, too. The perfect kind of man to balance such a wonderful female character. Both characters have interesting chemistry and comical banter, which made this book fun and entertaining. I liked how both of them could hold their own in a zombie fight and neither one was weak or inexperienced or a burden to the other. They made a great team.
Of course, I can’t forget to talk about the zombies. These are real zombies that do everything zombies are supposed to do. There are no discrepancies, which always makes me happy. A huge worry after zombie battles is checking each other out to make sure there are no bites, which everyone remembers to do. Another concern is scratches, which is something some fiction forgets to include, so I am definitely glad the author covered this. The battles were horrific and awesome with many close calls or gross things. The author also did not forget about the smell of zombies, either. The zombies were awesome and the whole premise was believable and very well done.
The summary says, “What he doesn’t know, is that Red has a very good reason to be on top of her game. She not only has the answer for how they can all outlive the plague taking over the wild, wild west, she is the answer.” I suppose that’s probably the best way to put it. There’s a sort of twist in the book that I don’t want to give away. It is extremely clever and I love it. I’ve never seen a plot twist like this in a zombie story, so I think it’s incredibly original and definitely piqued my interest and made me want to keep reading. I really want to gush about it, but it’s much better that you read the book yourself and appreciate the twist.
Overall, this was a very well written story. I could not put it down. It was a refreshing addition to the zombie genre, while also including a wonderful setting and a great hint of romance. I loved all of the characters and thought they were well developed and likeable people. I recommend this to anyone who is a fan of westerns, romance, adventure, horror, or zombie mayhem. The only thing I didn’t like was that it ended! I wanted more. I will definitely read the second book in the series and any other literature by Angela Scott.