This is one of the worst books I have ever read in my life. (One of my character flaws is that I almost always finish a book once I've started it, no matter how painful this may be.)
I am a fan of both chick lit and "occult female" novels in general, although I like to think I have standards in both. That's why I read this one... but it was awful for both genres.
The heroine- for lack of a better word- is awful. And not in a fun way. She's nasty, but not clever enough to be snarky. She's not a shallow facade covering an actual heart; she has no heart, or soul, or anything else. She's a sociopath... and again, not a fun one. (If you're interested in reading stuff from the POV of a sociopath, I recommend Donald Westlake's "The Axe" or "The Hook", both of which were appallingly excellent.)
Also: the author does not have a consistent timeline. It varies according to the momentary needs of the "plot"- such as it is. Not to mention that the life story of the protagonist makes no sense; there is no way that an upstart would achieve partnership in a successful firm, and that secure enough to threaten the founding partners, in the amount of time given. Just for instance.
There is a wee bit of backstory explaining Our Heroine's sociopathy. Apparently she was molested once by her mother's husband. Now: it is common in such situations for this to go on for years, and if faced with it the mother defends the abuser. This is not what happened here. She was molested once. She apparently told her mother, who dumped the molester and sought therapy to help her cope. Honestly, this is admirable behavior from a mother in my point of view. Nonetheless, Our Heroine bears her mother such a grudge that she will not deal with her, plus Our Author uses this as an excuse to make Our Heroine sociopathic. News flash: as described in the novel, this is pretty damn good behavior on the part of the mother, compared to the norm. Plus: many women go through far worse without becoming murderous sociopaths. I really resent this trivializing of a serious issue.
And back to trivial stuff: I had been going to say that the only thing professional about this was the typography. Unfortunately, it's not. The text depends on a huge number of footnotes, and while they are usually numbered... in one chapter in the middle of the book they use "*"s for a while, then revert to the numbers. Unprofessional. There are also swathes of text that have been cut-and-pasted in several locations; this probably impacts the poorly-defined timeline.
I will not deal here with the incredibly disgusting use of "Depends" in this novel.
So- very much NOT recommended. If you want sociopathy, check out Westlake. If you want chick lit- this is tone-deaf. I can see no reason why it would be a good choice for anyone.
The book reads like a memoir told from the first person viewpoint of a snarky-as-hell, newly-undead, fashionista socialite named Amanda Feral. An advertising executive with a tendancy to mock every single person she meets (if not out loud, in her head), she and her friends spend their time in one nightclub or another drinking and gossiping in Seattle. It's a pretty superficial existence, but fascinating to read about and picture - the nightlife of the undead in Seattle from the viewpoint of a newcomer like Amanda is chock-full of revelations. One in ten Seattle resident could be a werewolf, zombie, vampire, shapeshifter, god, demon or other, but humans take no notice as the supernaturals (including Amanda), prey on their numbers. The woman is brazenly un-P.C. She barely feels guilt for her kills or methods of luring people in, it's like a fun game most of the time, and I'm pretty sure she has something offensive to say about every subset of the population she encounters. And yet, she's so up-front and over the top about everything she ends up being quite funny and likeable. I thought that if the two ladies of Absolutely Fabulous became zombies, this is the type of book you'd get out of it. An amusing read for those who like a little dark humor.
If I were to compare this book to anything it would definitely be, Sex in the City with Zombies. Our leading lady Amanda Feral is so self-absorbed you cant help but laugh at and with her. The plot circles around a group of friends including several zombies, a gay vampire, and a succubus. All of which are just as vain as Amanda Feral is.
The book is full of gore and violence, which I loved. Its not often in the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal genres that I actually think GROSS/AWESOME at the same time. If you have a weak stomach beware!
There are about 130 footnotes, but dont let that turn you off. Sometimes they are worth losing your spot over, but other times not worth glancing away from the brilliant narrative. Not only do you have some hilarious footnotes, but you get drink recipes and music playlist from the club of the evening.
Sometimes I felt that the plot was forgotten, and those were the better parts of the book for me. The plot isnt what pulled me in and made me want to read. It was the situations that the characters get themselves into, and the people they meet along the way. All of this while learning how to be a zombie.
Pick it up if you want a good laugh for a few hours! Dont expect to be wowed by the actual plot though.
I really liked this book! It is certainly NOT a paranormal romance, but it's full of mystery, action, humor and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night. I found the main characters likeable, even if they were kind of shallow. The storyline had plenty of twists and turns, and the flashbacks added valuable background information. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I liked the footnotes - they were little bits of comic relief! I'm eagerly looking forward to the next installment - the preview chapter provided at the end of this book was intriguing - zombies on a road trip! I highly recommend this book! A word to the squeamish, though - zombies eat people! Enough said.
If you're tired of angsty undead who whine about their "curse", then you'll want to read this one. Chock full of supernaturals who embrace the undead life and have an interesting solution to Seattle's homeless problem, they are fun, unsympathetic, self-absorbed, often unlikable, but a treat to read about. The world and character building are more interesting than the plot, but I will pick up the next one to see where they go next.
While having a Zombie as a herione might be unique, and it was what drew me to this book to begin with, this character is nothing special. The story is bascially a mystery of sorts, would be better if told with out the 10 page flashback and the 139 footnotes (there are only 290 pages in the whole darn book!) a gimick that becomes quite tiresome very quickly and definitely distracts from the dialogue. I was quite excited when I bought this book, and quickly discouraged after about 1/3 of the way through. Hopefully subsequent books in this series (yes there is another one on the way called "Road Trip of the Damned")will improve. Fans of MaryJanice Davidson or similar authors will be dissapointed in this book.
After reading this, I would read another Mark Henry book, because it was so different from the usual paranormal. The heroines are zombies, and they eat people to survive. So if you can tolerate a little human flesh eating, the story is interesting, and these zombie girls really like to party.
I laughed out loud several times. This was a funny book. However, the main character, Amanda, is very unlikeable. She is shallow, selfish, catty, and mean. I thought it weird it mentioned how she really didn't have a lot of friends (when human), she was more of a loner. Then she becomes a zombie and BOOM she is best friends with (wait for it) 3 different people. Oops! I mean supernaturals! Amanda asks Gil how he became a vampire and how Wendy became a zombie and then gets miffed when it is a *story* instead of one sentence. When Liesl goes missing, no one seems for care at first. The search for her doesn't really start to happen until 1/3 into the book. Granted the first third was flashbacks as well, but still. It would have been better with more likeable characters (Amanda's friends are just as bad as she is). It did keep me entertained.
This book was a total riot! I love it! The humor is ireverant and unforgiving! This book is altogether hilarious. The characters are well developed, and are almost a paranormal version of Sex in the City! Loved Sex in the City too, by the way! The footnotes, yes, there are footnotes, are laugh out loud funny! This book isn't for pure minded folks, you've got to have an impure sense of humor to enjoy this book. I know that I sure did!
I really wanted to like this book, but the whole "footnotes" thing became VERY distracting. I did finish the book & although I don't feel it was a total waste of time, I will wait to get the next installment from a buddy on PBS, and not rush out to buy it. It was somewhat entertaining in parts, and not, by far, one of the worst books I have ever read. Mildly enjoyable, if you can get over those dang footnotes in every other paragraph. Some of the footnotes are humorous, but could have just been written into the books text and not added at the bottom.
A good urban fantasy can be like a mixed drink. It's got to have the right flavor--but it's also got to have a lot of kick. Not so much, of course, that you'll regret it the next morning. The characters in Mark Henry's Happy Hour of the Damned might not liken themselves to mixed drinks, but they would certainly appreciate the allusion. Because few zombies appreciate liquor like the heroines in Henry's novel.
Full of zombie debutantes, undead reality television, and the usual plot to take over the world via Starbucks, the novel treads new territory in urban fantasy: it's the first place I've ever seen zombies as heart-breakers (rather than just heart-eaters--and even then, sometimes they just stop at the brains). Amanda Feral defies the zombie stereotypes, however, and takes Seattle's post-life post-party by storm. In the company of fellow zombie babe Wendy, gay vampire Gil, and succubus Lisle, Amanda is an up-and-comer--until the fateful night when Lisle disappears, texting Amanda for help. With that, the remaining trio set off to do something none of them particularly want to be involved in: a search and rescue mission.
I had so much fun reading this book. It is written in an interesting style. The characters are fun and quirky. The main character is an Itelligent Zombie Hot Chick, but she is sassy, dresses to the nines, and has adapted to her "volun-told" Zombie-ism. It is a good paced read, and always a twist around the next corner.
If I was UnDead, I would, for sure, want to be one of these guys. Oh and the clubs sound FAB!
I was really looking forward to this book but wound up being sorely disappointed. The author's use of footnotes was obtrusive and extremely distracting. I feel that they were detrimental to the reading process. I didn't care for the plot and I only liked one of the central characters. I only finished the book because I am a little OCD about finishing things I started. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
I tried to read this book, but it was just awful. I only read a third of the book and had to give up. The footnotes were distracting and I can't find anything good to say about this book. I see that it is still on peoples wish lists, but I won't waste the postage to ship this book.