Title: Zombie Whisperer
Author: Caterina Torres
Number of Pages: eBook edition
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
She can speak to the dead. Only problem is, they’re still walking around.
After enduring a week-long flu, Jane Smith wakes to find out a terrorist organization has spread a deadly virus over the nation, changing anyone who’s infected into the walking dead. With no choice but to flee her home, Jane teams up with her boyfriend, Josh Williams, as they venture to find something better than the desolate land that was once called the home of the brave and the land of the free.
Driving across the country, Jane encounters some of the newly turned and finds she can hear their thoughts inside her head. Before she can understand her link to the undead, Jane and Josh are captured by the terrorists responsible for the virus because of one special reason: they know she can communicate with the infected and they want her to be a part of their fight to take down the rest of the world.
Afraid for their lives, Jane must decide if she should join the terrorists or use her new found powers to stop them. (Goodreads)
"When one person spouts craziness, he is just crazy. But when a mob of people shout the same craziness, they are sane." — Karl; Chapter 24
I have never read books about zombies, I've never been sucked into the zombie apocalypse hype, and I’ve never even watched a zombie movie. But after I met Caterina Torres and got this book, I have to say, this was my very first exposition to the zombie hype.
I'm glad it was. I don't think any other work of art, literature, movie, or internet meme could have gotten me as sucked in as this did.
I’ll get the cons out of the way before I deal with the pros. This eBook did have errors, not enough that it ruined the book, but enough to distract me. Most of it was the fact I use/envision commas differently than how they were used, and there was the occasional formatting error. Those weren’t big issues, though.
Story-wise, here were my cons in a nutshell: Jane seemed to flip-flop a lot from calm to panicked. Cassidy’s demeanor was believable, but sometimes a little strange. Sociopaths think first and foremost about themselves, but Cassidy was portrayed as more selfless than selfish at times. A few parts of the book were stretched out and could have been cut, especially in terms of some description.
Some character development was left dry for the reader to try and interpret on their own, something I don’t like to do. The relationship between Jane and Darla/Casey was too short. At the end the connection between the two of them is what makes for Jane’s victory, but I was left behind. I’d only seen Jane and Casey interact a few times; otherwise I was told why they were close. I accept that they were so close Jane couldn’t allow anything to happen, but I didn’t know why. I didn’t know why Jane had taken Casey in as an adopted daughter.
That’s pretty much it for my cons. Now for the pros (the best part! :D).
I LOVED THE SUSPENSE. I was on the edge of my seat for just about this entire book. From the very first page to the last, I wanted to know what happened. I didn’t want to put this book down. I said there was description that could’ve been cut, but the way Torres wrote it sucked you in. If a description is written well to my point of view, I don’t even realize I’ve read it until I’m done. Torres accomplished this. The story had such a nice flow.
When I reached the chapters from Jim Ballenger’s point of view, I was a little less than thrilled. I thought, “Oh man. I’m going to be switching POVs? This will be boring...” NOPE. Jim’s story was, perhaps not as suspenseful and dangerous as Jane’s, but just as enthralling. His friendship with Karl was a weight off of the reader’s shoulders, a relief from all of the story’s gloom-and-doom (in a good way).
These zombies were definitely not what I expected them to be. I delved into the story expecting people digging up their graves and people gathering together to fight them off—typical zombie apocalypse expectation. I was happily proven wrong. The story’s premise is so BELIEVABLE. You can guarantee I’m going to be a bit sheepish in late October this year, expecting people stabbing each other with needles. It’s fantastic.
Time to tackle the main issue of the story: the telepathic abilities. I’m going to quote from a review by Krysten Hill here.
“This mix of science and the metaphysical with zombies. I actually envy her ability to do this without having the reader go 'Author! Will you just PICK one already?'.” — Krysten Hill's Review
YES. The moment I read that the disease was caused by a virus, I winced. I was afraid I would end up reading two genres at once, but once again, Torres proved that this was not the case. When I learned that Jane could communicate with the zombies, I was afraid it would feel too much like the mind-attacks in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. Nothing like that at all!
I’m getting a little long-winded on this, so I’ll cut it off here. I LOVED THIS BOOK. I anxiously await the next book in this trilogy. I stated the cons and why I saw them as cons, but the pros outweigh the cons with the force of a bulldozer. I definitely recommend it.