Book Review

This Isn’t the Zombie Apocalypse – Book Review

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.


Indie Authors: A Community of Support

As a part of my launch event this past weekend, I interviewed and featured a handful of authors, all of whom represent different factions of the indie author community. One thing is universal among everyone I spoke with: we are a community. It is our job as indie authors to support one and other, because authors are not just authors…they’re readers too.

Indie authors get flack for not publishing traditionally. We all had our reasons though, and very rarely does it come down to our idea was rejected by agents. That’s not the case. We wanted to independently publish for a reason. Whether it was to get the story out there, having control of the process, or something else entirely.

I had the honor to meet a group of wonderful independent authors over the last week. You can meet them all below:

Eme’ Savage

Eme’ is the author of Echoes of the Gidat and Tetarul Parallel. We had a wonderful discussion about her novel and process, as well as self doubt and how that comes into play while writing.

Cody Blake Wilson

Cody is the author of The Awakening, the first in his series. We discussed his first novel as well as LGBTQ+ representation in media.

Rachel Garcia

Rachel is the author of Illthdar: The Guardians of Las, the first book in an anticipated 10 book series! We talked about how she handles her wide array of cast, as well as diversity in writing.

Rachel Shaw

Rachel Shaw is the author of Last Memoria. We spent time discussing her duology, as well as how biology and memory comes into play in her novel. In addition, we also discussed how to produce an audio book.

Lane Northcutt

Lane is the author of the upcoming novel, The Delivery Co. We had a fantastic conversation about his experience as both an actor and writer, as well as his process. Unfortunately, technology got the best of us, crashing post interview and deleting the video.

That being said, you can still read about our discussion HERE.

Lori Yerxa

Lori is the author of the non-fiction book, Pushing Through, which is about Rex Patrick, Paralympic Medalist. We discussed the differences in writing a non-fiction novel, and what she learned about herself along the way.

Sterling Blue

Sterling is the author of This Isn’t the Zombie Apocalypse. We discussed her novel, her creative process, and her current work on a graphic novel.

Kaitlyn Legaspi

Kaitlyn is the author of The Dark Irregular Trilogy. We spent time discuss her trilogy as well as her countless number of projects that she can handle all while in college!

Yet, with all these interviews, I didn’t just stop there. I featured a few other authors throughout my launch.

All of these authors combined gave away 10 books in total, reaching readers whom they might not have due to indie authors supporting one and other. And I am so glad to have spoken with all of them, since each of their stories sound unique and have made it to my “to-read” list.

Speaking with each of these authors has helped me find a new sense of community among indie authors. It’s why I am trying to start up a book club, and will continue to read and review books written by my peers.

So I implore you, please check out all these authors! They’re amazing!

And I will continue featuring and supporting them, and I hope you will as well!

E.S. Barrison