Friday, December 6, 2013

Gravel & Gems: They Walk by Amy Lunderman

First off, let me say I’m not a book snob. Or, perhaps better to say I don’t let a category deter me. If a book is labeled “Young Adult” (YA) for instance, I don’t simply decide it's juvenile and refuse to read it. Some YA novels like The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan were pretty good and I enjoyed reading it quite a lot.

Then I came upon They Walk by Amy Lunderman. Which is an odd title, since all her zombies run and don’t walk! Still, running zombies aren’t a deal breaker if the story is good enough. Alas, its not. Perhaps it’s my fault because I know more than the author about military gear, behavior, how guns work, etc. Still, here’s a hint to all authors out there. If you don’t know about a subject you’re writing about, either A) Skim over it and don’t give details in your story, or B) Research! The author’s inability to do either really put me out of the story and was frankly painful. National Guard Armories do NOT use CBs in their communications room. They do NOT keep guns loaded and sitting on a shelf for people to just dump into bags. They do NOT have police issue weapons like UZIs or Mac 10’s. Corporals do NOT say “Hey dude.” Or similar to Captains. Captains do NOT say to his men its “OK to desert, it's reasonable” in front of his men. The men he’s trying to keep on duty at a rescue station to boot!

Anyway, here’s my grades:

Book: They Walk by Amy Lunderman

Type of Zombies: Fast zombies, actually undead (not infected)

Setting: Contemporary, through the eyes of people at a teen party.

Characters: Maggie, teen girl with unerring ability to make headshots. Claire, friend of main character. Dan, brother of Maggie and semi capable. Matt, BF of Maggie and bites it early in the book. Gabriel, hunky friend of Dan’s who Maggie hates, so of course she ends up hooking up with him. Noah, aforementioned corporal in prior list.

 Synopsis: Teens go to a party and are in the middle of festivities when zombie apocalypse happens. Most of the partiers are killed and revive (reanimation is within seconds). Book covers their efforts to find parents and get away.

Grade: 4/10, some good characterization but scenario is highly unbelievable. People just don’t act that way!