Hello awesome readers. Let’s kick off October with the first of many HORROR reads! The following review is… brutally honest. Overall it was an entertaining read with some room for improvement. If you are planning on reading this book stop reading this review at the old-timey photos to avoid a few lil spoilers.
Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter
Author: C.A. Verstraete
Category: Zombie Horror, Fictional Retelling of True Crime
Suitable for: Older teens+
My Rating: 3 Stars
Format Read for Review: Kindle copy provided for judgement in the Indie Horror Book Awards
Description: A retelling of the legend of Lizzie Borden that explains why she had to kill her parents, because they were zombies. After slaying her zombie parents and then being acquitted in court she begins her investigation into the dark conspiracy that brought zombies to her town.
“She gagged and held her breath at the rotten stench hanging thick as fog in the air around her. Hands shaking, she pointed the gun again and fired.”
This is an exciting zombie horror with elements of mystery. If you like zombie horror I would recommend it. Though full of historical facts, I didn’t find the character to be a believable portrayal of Lizzie Borden.
“The body went limp in a pile of nasty smelling rot and still wriggling maggots.”
This story was very fast paced and action packed. I liked how the fiction was weaved into the historical timeline, staying true to most key points but now with a zombie flare. The zombies smelt horrible which was great. Not enough books and shows honestly depict how bad they would have to smell. I enjoyed the little twist at the end. I liked that the chapter headings featured quotes from inquest, or newspaper headlines, it set the mood for the chapter and gave it a feel of realism.
“Everywhere they went Lizzie saw nothing but destruction, chaos, and horror.”
My first issue came with the slaying of Mr. and Mrs. Zombie Borden. It was self defense, yet covered up like it was premeditated and overall unconvincing. Firstly, why was there already a hatchet in an upstairs guestroom, even if there was a fireplace in there which I don’t think there was. Secondly, the description of Andrew’s slaying doesn’t work with the real crime scene photos. After the bloody incident that was described here he couldn’t have been dragged across the carpet to the couch without leaving blood on the carpet. As a big zombie buff the use of weapons bothered me. They would change, appear, disappear randomly. At one point Emma is given a sword, but then she is using a pipe, the sword is then thrown to Lizzie who then uses a bat which she was absurdly dual wielding with the sword. During one fight Lizzie switched weapons 4 times, that didn’t really make sense to me, why go from a sword to a bat. Her weapon of choice I would have imagined to be a hatchet or axe, maybe dual wielding hatchets and throwing them when necessary, and a large 2 handed axe for melee, but not a bat being her main choice, randomly alternating with swords, daggers, and a gun.
“Holding both the sword and her bat high, she ran waving her arms at the group [of zombies] gathered on the left side of the pit.”
I didn’t feel Lizzie was authentic. Too many things seemed off like her thinking about what if her female church friends were on the jury, the real Lizzie knew women couldn’t serve on juries so that seemed pointless. Also her feeling her father wasn’t to blame, after discovering he was the mastermind. Her romantic relationships didn’t make sense and ended without explanation. I would have found it more believable if her relationships had been with women, thus explaining the secrecy. This Lizzie for no real reason abruptly ends her romance solely to remain historically accurate it seems. But it wasn’t historically accurate because she certainly wouldn’t have remained a spinster with so many eligible bachelors throwing themselves at her. I also didn’t like that it seemed like Lizzie and Emma always needed to be saved by men. She committed 2 murders in one morning, she don’t need no man, she just needs her axe. Overall I didn’t find the plot, characters or dialogue to be convincing.
“But again, Pierre demonstrated his ability to think fast and plan ahead, something she failed to do.”
Violence, blood and gore. No sexual content.
This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.