Book Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2/5 stars)
What would happen if Life and Death basically went off the deep end? What if they decided that the rules no longer applied to them?
This is the world we enter, through sarcastic Cal’s point-of-view, in This Isn’t the Zombie Apocalypse. And the title is true…this is no where near close to the zombie apocalypse. This is a world where those who should have died aren’t dead, and those who should have continued to live, well, died.
Cal is a typical, snarky and sarcastic, teenage boy. Until he dies. Then he spends over a year running from death getting thrown into a series of scenarios that should have killed him. He meets up, by pure chance, with a young 12-year old named Ana…the “Other”. Or perhaps it wasn’t chance, but rather fate itself.
The author has done a fantastic job characterizing the main cast, keeping Cal as the sarcastic self-loathing teenager, while Ana is the precocious young girl who hates cursing. This creates a nice contrast between the two, almost as distinct as Life and Death themselves.
Yet Cal’s distinct voice can, at times, get a little bit cumbersome and take away from the overall narrative. He spent a good portion of the time reflection, making witty comments to the reader, and being dragged along without really knowing what was going on. The world building just isn’t there to support Cal’s voice, and if I hadn’t personally spoken with the author I might have been very confused about this whole “Life and Death” concept she was trying to portray.
While fantasy itself is never realistic, there were some weird moments that didn’t quite sit right. Part of it is due to Life and Death not quite getting along anymore, but some of it didn’t quite make sense. Why did Dr. Calvin feel the need to be unrelentingly obscure and not tell Cal anything? How did Ana find Cal in the first place? And how did Cal really figure out what his destiny was in the long run other than by just…rambling?
While part of these questions being elusive adds to the charm of the book, it left me feeling a bit unsure. I do have a soft spot for these Life and Death dichotomy type of books, and Sterling Blue’s journey to publication is quite similar to my own, so I do believe this books has its merits. Some people will enjoy reading Cal’s snarky personality and the high speed chase of Life and Death. It was enough to keep me entertained and wanting to find out how it ended.
I think we’ll see a lot of great work from Sterling Blue in the future. This Isn’t the Zombie Apocalypse is a mere stepping stone…and I can’t wait to see where this author goes from here.
What’s it about?
So, Cal is running from Death—has been ever since he died over a year ago. Yeah, okay, that’s cool. Fine. But Cal also needs to find some Other person that is supposed to help him do something. He’s not quite sure what, and he’s not quite sure why, but when Life tells you to do something, it’s probably important.
But everything is fine. It’s not like it’s the zombie apocalypse.