Thursday 17 March 2016

REVIEW: Pembroke Sinclair - Life After the Undead

Genre: Horror / Zombies / YA
Publisher: Booktrope   
Publication Date: 27th Oct 2015     
Pages: 248


A copy of Life After the Undead was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Pembroke Sinclair, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

Anyone who visits the blog regularly will know I love to discover new authors. Pembroke Sinclair is the second name in a couple of weeks that I am sure many of you will not be familiar with. I certainly wasn’t when she sent me an email to see if I would like to review this one. I agreed, then discovered it was being marketed as a young adult book. Instant panic. Young adult books normally don’t do it for me. I had already agreed though. What had I let myself in for?

Krista is fifteen years old. Life is trudging along as normal. A normal morning, waiting for the bus to school, suddenly starts to go awry when the bus driver runs from his vehicle, being chased by pupils.

She quickly realises something is drastically wrong and tries to convince her “friends”. They don’t believe her. They should have. She runs and survives for the minute. They don’t.

Krista must now try and escape with her mom and dad. Things don’t work out that way though and she finds herself on her way to Florida. She is alone and afraid. How will she survive her new Life After the Undead?

So what did I let myself in for in picking up a young adult book? Well, I was actually in for a very pleasant surprise. When you read this book, it does, at times, read as though it is written for a younger audience. There isn’t the normal bad language and sex you would expect in an adult book. However, that’s as far as the young adult barrier goes. This book could well be marketed towards the more mature of us out there and I genuinely think it should be. I think a lot of people are going to miss out on a really good book because of the “label”.

The main character in this one as you would imagine, is Krista. The story follows her over a period of a couple of years as she tries to adjust to life, firstly in Florida, then in the wilds of Nebraska where she goes to fight the undead. She is a typical young girl. She likes music and typical young girl things. When those things disappear, she quickly realises that she will need to change and adapts very well.

We have a few other characters that come into the story later on. Liet is the general in the new town she goes to. I wanted to slap him from the first word out of his mouth! Quinn, Kyle and Bill come along and Krista spends most of her time with them in the story. They are all a bit mysterious to be honest but I really liked that in them. It kept a certain groove going in the story. There are a few others that come and go but those are the main ones you will see. Oh and zombies. Loads of zombies.

The plot? Well this is where I found this to be a bit different to other zombie tales I have read of late. This is a tale of survival. That much is similar to other zombie stories. This one has a different flavour to it. It’s not all blood and guts. It’s not six million zombies at every turn like that scene in World War Z when there are thousands of them climbing over themselves to get up the wall. This is a bit calmer and more serene. It shows that even in the midst of “zompocalypse” as it’s called in the book, there are places where no zombies exist, and places you can get supplies and things are sort of normal as long as you are careful and plan right.

Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of scenes with zombies in and believe me they can be gruesome. Arms and legs do tend to fly a bit at times. This reminded me a lot of Justin Cronin’s The Passage. It has that slower sort of feel to it but when it kicks off, it kicks off.

So what was the writing like? Eh, I can’t fault it really. This is a well-polished book. The story is very fluid and reads very well. There are no errors in this at all, I was looking. It fits into my easy read category. You will get through it pretty quickly, but that’s not because of huge fonts on small pages. It’s because it flows extremely well and is very easy on the eye. Nothing complicated about the story but a couple of twists and turns that you won’t expect.

I didn’t really expect too much out of this book. I was wrong. I got a hell of a lot from it. Without trying to give too much away, it ends with a possibility of more. I sincerely hope there is, Pembroke Sinclair!

To summarise: a young adult zombie tale that more mature adults will love as well. If you want a good clean tale, then this is the one for you. Plenty of perfectly paced writing that will grip you and keep you to the end.

General rating:

★★★★ really rather bloody good.

Horror rating:

★★★★ not far off full adult marks.

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Life After the Undead or any other books from Pembroke. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Krista must quickly figure out how she’s going to survive in the zombie-destroyed world. The one advantage humans have is that the zombies hate humid environments, so they’re migrating west to escape its deteriorating effects. The survivors plan to construct a wall at North Platte to keep the undead out, and Krista has come to Nebraska to start a new life.

Zombies aren’t the only creatures she has to be cautious of—the other survivors have a dark side. Krista must fight not only to live but also to defend everything she holds dear—her country, her freedom, and ultimately, those she loves.

Join Krista in her quest to survive in this thrilling apocalyptic novel by Pembroke Sinclair.

Pembroke Sinclair is a literary jack of all trades, playing her hand at multiple genres. She has written an eclectic mix of fiction ranging from horror to sci-fi and even some westerns. Born in Rock Springs, Wyoming--the home of 56 nationalities--it is no wonder Pembroke ended up so creatively diverse. Her fascination with the notions of good and evil, demons and angels, and how the lines blur have inspired her writing. Pembroke lives in Laramie, Wyoming, with her husband, two spirited boys, a black lab named Ryder, and a rescue kitty named Alia, who happens to be the sweetest, most adorable kitty in the world! She cannot say no to dessert, orange soda, or cinnamon. She loves rats and tatts and rock and roll and wants to be an alien queen when she grows up.

And for more about Pembroke, visit her site or find her on social media:

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon Page

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