PJV Quickie: I went on a zombie kick and this one stopped me in my tracks. It had great potential but at some point I just had enough.

Title: The Hungry
Author: Steven W. Booth, Harry Shannon
Series: The Hungry #2
ISBN: 9780615539713
Publication: Published 2011
Purchased through Amazon.com
Links: Purchase Online Dystopian Goodreads
Rating: 1 out of 5

Review

Initially I read the short story ‘Jail Break’ and was hooked. A trash talking female sheriff, a biker and a bunch of zombies, score! This lead me to download ‘The Hungry’ which started out again with the content of ‘Jail Break’. I had already read part of this, but, ok, benefit of the doubt, it again sucked me in and I was enjoying myself thoroughly. But, then the constant puns and one liners, along with creative,  yet bizarre insults began to wear on me. I guess after reading the ‘As The World Dies’ series, I just wanted a little more depth to my gore.

Jailbreak

What I do recommend is downloading the Free short-story 'Jail Break'


‘The Hungry’ labeled as ‘The Hungry #2’ on goodreads.com is actually ‘Jail Break’ and new material that makes it into a full length. We start off in the jail cell with Sheriff Penny Miller, her deputy Wells and the murderer Scratch. When the zombies attack Miller makes a break for it and drags Scatch with her. Along the way, during their fight for survival, Miller joins forces with her useless ex-husband, some National Guardsman and then finally the soldier/scientist that supposedly started this whole zombie thing.

Booth and Shannon’s characters were interesting, yet their actions sometimes didn’t make sense. There was hilarity and just fun imaginings, like specifically Sheriff Penny Miller goes through most of the book in her wedding dress with her wuss-bag ex-husband at her side and a crazy biker. Fun, but lacking the depth that I need to really get into a story. Entertaining, yes. Logical no. I’m sorry, I had to mark this one down as a DNF and move on after I couldn’t finish it in close to a month.

My reasons for DNFing this book:

  • I was a little perturbed about re-reading ‘Jail Break’ in the beginning.
  • The characters abrasive language did wear on me after a while, comments like this by Miller, “You’re like a fart in an elevator, Sanchez. You already have my full attention” or comments by the biker Scatch, “Quit your bitchin’, Sheriff. After what happened between you and me in the jailhouse, you’ve earned yourself a good f#cking.” At first I thought it was fun, but then line after line after line, well it just became too much. I wanted the zombies to eat them so they wouldn’t mate and make more foul-mouthed, ignorant children.
  • Then the unbelievable sequence of events, the bikers attacking, the escape from a military compound and then running into the bikers again… and what do they do? They have a verbal back and forth with more fun and interesting insults and references to human anatomy. Bikes making loud noises, helicopters flying around — and no zombies. There were zombies everywhere at the slightest noise earlier, but when it’s a fun scene with a bit of interesting dialogue no zombies.
  • Finally, I would expect that the raunchy language and less than stellar plot would lead to redeeming over-the-top, thrilling gore or debauchery, but that wasn’t the case. My blood-lust wasn’t sated and neither was the other lust factor…

I think this book would have been fabulous if the authors would have taken the time to develop the plot a little more. I can tell they focused mainly on their dialogue, if they would have put that much care into the plot sequences and a little more character development, it would have been a gem. Booth and Shannon know how to tell a good story. They have the timing down, the book was fast-paced and compelling. They just needed to make their characters people that a reader wants to root for instead of just laughing at their constant sarcasm. Even the bizarre introduction of man after man that could be a possible “love” interest seemed too much and didn’t work for me.

Recommendations:

Recommended for hard-core zombie fiction fans.

Don’t trust my take on it? Here is a positive view of the book: The Bookish Brunette does ‘The Hungry’