The Misadventures of Two Reluctant Zombie Hunters: Zombies at the Con, and, The Misadventures of Two Reluctant Zombie Hunters: Hospitals are Hell
Zombies are my favorite monster because they’re a lot of fun, if they’re done right. They can be scary, like Romero’s early version, or hilarious as in Zombieland, or a hit-you-over-the-head obvious social commentary as in World War Z. Funny is my favorite brand, but you have to get your ingredient ratios right for it to work. Rhavensfrye has written a well balanced couple of zombie snacks.
The first book, Zombies at the Con introduces the newly minted zombies and the two reluctant zombie hunters KL and Roxy, who drive to cons in the Zombie Mobile for fun and a bit of profit. KL, in her long black sleeveless fitted coat, black Stetson, leather bracers and cross-back harness stalks the con portraying the star of the Revenant Chaser comics her wife Roxy writes and illustrates. She’s got the anti-social attitude to match. Though much smaller physically, Roxy is the leader and tactician the group needs when, in the middle of the con nearly every person stops dead in their tracks. So to speak. After standing motionless for a time they begin to move and are on the hunt for fresh meat. Right off the bat author Rhavensfrye’s zombies are a little different, with the motionless beginning. They’re also a little messed up at first, attacking each other along with still living humans.
Cowardly antics and basic stupidity get people killed, as always happens in zombie fiction. Surviving the apocalypse is never so much about brawn or smarts, though both are very helpful, but staying calm and working together as a team while being careful about who you trust with your life that will get you through. That, and having really cool weapons to fight with. KL is at a disadvantage because she has to leave her beloved sharp edges and favorite bow – the one with real arrows – in the Zombie Mobile because there are strict rules about that at cons. The gang has to improvise, which is always fun. Luckily, they’re nowhere near a garden shed so we’re not subjected to the moronic string trimmer weapon people have been so fond of.
A hallmark of zombie fiction is choosing a fun setting, and the second book finds the gang looking for help in a catholic hospital. This freaks them out nearly as much as being thrust into the apocalypse, because who wants to go up against zombie nuns?
Rhavensfrye’s writing is breezy and tight. Each book keeps the action sticky, both in gore factor and difficulty of movement. Their goal is to drive the 60 miles to home and hole up. First they need to escape the convention center before the military firebombs it, and then they have to maneuver into and then out of a teeming hospital. Both books are full of quips and good situational comedy. The first one is more non-stop funny, and the second is gorier, so they’re a nice pair. The books are short so I recommend getting both and expect to read them together. The author says she’s working on a third book, hopefully coming out next year, and I’m looking forward to that.
If you’re in the mood for some funny zombie action that covers all the standard tropes, interesting characters and don’t mind mixing gore with the giggles, then I recommend these. What you won’t find is a load of testosterone and endless obsession with how many rounds of each kind of ammunition everyone is carrying. Can’t say I miss that much.
- The Misadventures of Two Reluctant Zombie Hunters: Zombies at the Con – Amazon.com
- The Misadventures of Two Reluctant Zombie Hunters (vol 2): Hospitals are Hell
- Rhavensfyre on Amazon.com
CFR: In Addition: The below was part of the Zombies at the Con description in Amazon:
Warning: Graphic details and foul language. Threat of snorting milk or soda out of your nose. May be prone to sudden outbursts of laughter, talking to oneself and a sudden desire to kill zombies.
OMG. Now I gotta read it.