Aug 30, 2010: Zombie Punter is 24 chapters of pure fun.
The story opens with the zombie outbreak, seen through the eyes of one Eugene O’Donnell, and so you’re thrust, almost immediately, into this crazy world that breaks down right at the beginning.
This is really quite ingenious – Zoe Whitten manages to slip all the back-story she needs into the first two chapters, and then we’re running along with the main characters, fighting zombies with nightsticks and firepokers and gore slicked hammers.
It helps that both Eugene and his best friend Jake are obsessed with zombies. What this means, effectively, is that while they are indeed scared protagonists, they’re than prepared to take the impending apocalypse in stride.
Zombie Punter succeeds, however, in the way Whitten manages to avoid all the cliched endings you’d expect from a typical zombie story. I’m not going to spoil the second bit for you – but let’s just say that the zombies are not what you think they are, and this lighthearted romp isn’t all that lighthearted at the end.
There is homosexual sex in this, by the way, though this shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that it’s fairly clear at the beginning that Eugene is attracted to Jake. But this isn’t an issue – the relationship fits into the arc of the story, and Whitten does a wonderful job of keeping Eugene and Jake’s feelings for each other at the emotional core of the story.
And so I think Zombie Punter’s near perfect. It’s got blood, humour, a big heart, right at the end, a message, and lots of violence in between. All this, in 24 chapters? Pure gold, and worth an afternoon of happy reading. 4.5 stars.
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