Book Review: White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland

Posted March 21, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 3 Comments

Book Review: White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

White Trash Zombie Gone Wild Genres: Horror, Urban Fantasy
Published by DAW Books on October 6, 2015
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Fifth in the White Trash Zombie horrific urban fantasy series and revolving around Angel Crawford, a zombie who works at the morgue. The series is set in Tucker Point, Louisiana.

My Take

I do enjoy this series, if only because of the sympathetic twist Rowland puts on zombies.

White Trash Zombie Gone Wild, however, annoyed the heck out of me as Angel takes back up with her drug habit. She’s a classic addict, swearing that she can stop any time. Then there’s her freak-out because she will run out of brains. Hullo? She can get brains from the lab, although Rowland does manage to dramatize this with Angel’s shame. I don’t know if Angel being stupid was affecting my thinking, but it seemed as if this was more melodramatic and juvenile than the previous four stories…and it’s why I’ve downgraded it to a 3.5.

The Zombie Fest sounds hysterical. The shopkeepers are joining in the spirit with decorations, special dishes, and costumes. Roaming vendors of zombie make-up and souvenirs. Groans and growls emanating from the town loudspeakers.

Angel’s rescue of Justine was too funny and leads to some nice affirmations for Angel. I wonder how much that helped her keep control of that careening ATV, lol.

We learn Jacques’ sad story and get an idea of how old he is. Turns out Dr. Nikas is his maker. Gotta wonder why he turned Jacques. To save him from wounds in war??

Then there’s Angel’s ex-boyfriend, Randy. He’s a friend, a good friend, and she doesn’t want him in any trouble. So another stupid move occurs when she starts hiding evidence. I can understand it, and I don’t know what else she could have done. It was nice to learn that Judd could finally justify his existence, gruesome as it was *grin*.

That regeneration scene at the end…?? Ick! I did, however, appreciate the strides forward that Angel makes in White Trash Zombie Gone Wild.

The Story

Angel Crawford has buried her loser past and is cruising along in undead high gear — that is, until a murder-by-decapitation sends her on a hazardous detour. As Angel hunts for the killer, she uncovers a scheme that would expose zombies to the public and destroy the life she’s built, and she’s determined not to rest until she finds out who’s behind it.

Soon she’s neck-deep in lies, redneck intrigue, zombie hunters, and rot-sniffing cadaver dogs. It’s up to her to unravel the truth and snuff out the conspiracy before the existence of zombies makes headline news and she’s outed as a monster.

But Angel hasn’t quite escaped the pill-popping ghosts of her past — not with an illicit zombie pharmaceutical at her fingertips. Good thing she’s absolutely sure she can handle the drug’s unpredictable side effects and still take down the bad guys…or maybe she’s only one bad choice away from being dead meat — for real this time.

Angel knows a thing or two about kicking ass, but now the ass she needs to kick might be her own.

The Characters

Angel Crawford, a zombie, drives a death wagon for the coroner’s office. Dyslexic, she’s pursuing a college degree. Marcus had been her boyfriend, now they’re just friends. Her dad is a recovering alcoholic (coming up on one year dry), and the two of them are working on rebuilding their relationship. Tammy Elwood is a bartender at Kaster’s and her dad has been dating her.

The Tribe, a.k.a., the Zombie Mafia, is…

…in flux after events in How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back, 4. Marcus Ivanov, a former cop intending to go to law school, now has to take over public leadership of the loose confederation of zombies and their businesses — including a string of funeral homes (Mrs. Scott works at one of them) — formerly led by Pietro Ivanov, his uncle, who is now Pierce Gentry, a former goon for the Saberton lab in New York.

Brian Archer is the head of Tribe security. Rachel Delancey is their security specialist who hates Angel and seems a mite too friendly with Marcus. Kyle Griffin is their weapons specialist and Angel’s trainer. Naomi is a human operative and in love with Kyle. She’s also Andrew’s twin sister, Julia, who fled her family after she witnessed their atrocities.

The Research and Development lab for the Tribe is…
…run by the agoraphobic Dr. Ariston Nikas; he and his two assistants — Jacques Leroux and Reg — live at the lab. Raul is one of the full-time security zombies. John Kang is a zombie head whose entire “live” zombie body we first met in My Life as a White Trash Zombie, 1. They’re re-growing his body now. Philip Reinhardt is Angel’s zombie “baby”.

Tucker Point is…

…the city and the setting for the series. Mayor Turnbuckle promotes the Zombie Fest being held on land owned by Charlotte Glaspy. Mr. Moe still runs Moe’s Hardware, a museum of obsolete tools. Mr. and Mrs. Paul and Julie Wood work for the Tucker Point Sentinel News. Detective Mike Abadie is a jerk to Angel, but his partner, Ben Roth, is a nice guy. Brennan Masters is a TV reporter who ends up owing Angel a favor. Le Bon Décor has some great masks. Mr. Wyatt runs the butcher shop.

The St. Edwards Parish Coroner’s Office is…
…where Angel works. Derrel is a former linebacker for LSU and is now a death investigator partnered up with Angel. Dr. Leblanc is the pathologist with great faith in Angel. Allen Prejean is the Coroner’s Office chief investigator (and Angel’s supervisor) who sees Angel as a screwup; Savannah is his wife. Nick Galatas is another death investigator planning to get a medical degree. He’s turned into a solid friend who helped Angel get her GED. Noah Granger is a “client” at the morgue.

The Bear’s Den Gun Shop and Indoor Range is…
…owned by Owen “Bear” Galatas, Nick’s father, who is a survivalist keen on preparedness, writing articles about it, and maintaining a blog. Judd is a jerk who works at Bear’s; he lives in Bob’s Trailer Park.

Randy Winger is an ex-boyfriend of Angel’s as well and still a great friend. Hank Winger had been his dad and very accepting of Angel. Coy Bates, a taxidermist, has been a friend of Randy’s since sixth grade. And one of the few friends Angel likes.

High School Zombie Apocalypse! is…

…the flick that was filmed in Tucker Point in White Trash Zombie Apocalypse, 3. Justine Chu is one of the stars. Grayson Seeger is a producer. Chad and Mandy are working behind the scenes. “Sergei“, a.k.a., Boswell Carlton, is a jerk towards Justine.

Saberton is…

…a wealthy lab researching, okay, it’s really torturing and maiming…zombies. Nicole Saber is the bitchy CEO who condones it all. Andrew Saber is her son, and he became a zombie, Angel’s zombie baby, in How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back, 4. It sure makes things interesting, lol. Thea Braddock is the head of Saberton security in New York. Tom Snyder is a bodyguard.

Dr. Kristi Charish is the unethical psychopathic researcher who is brilliant. Tactical Pants Man, a.k.a., Dante Rosario, is hot and is said to have a ton of search-and-rescue experience with a top-notch cadaver dog, Marquise de Saber “Marla“.

Special Agent Sorsha Aberdeen is with the FBI.

The V12 modifier is a kick-butt pharmaceutical formulated to work with the zombie parasite that is also helping Angel with her dyslexia. The exodus project are the plans zombies make when they have to disappear. Sorella had been a goule-gris nurse in the Central African Republic.

The Cover and Title

The covers in this series crack me up, and this one is no different with the yellow jockey-short-clad Angel with her bleached hair tipped with red and styled with braids and uplifted bangs. She’s wearing thigh-high red-striped socks, black mesh fingerless gloves, bangles, and has a bloody handprint on her thigh, headphones in her ears with audio tapes lying next to her, and she’s “laying back” against a blue-wrapped “gurney”. There’s one bodiless head dripping on her bicep while she holds the head in place and another head is down toward the bottom of the cover. The author’s name and part of the title is a bright pink while the “Zombie” part is a neon-effect of blue and white. The changing last words of the title and the series number are in turquoise, pink, and yellow against a black background of the clapboard positioned in front of Angel’s naked breasts.

The title is true enough, for Angel is a White Trash Zombie Gone Wild with drugs, ATV chases, and wild rescues.

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3 responses to “Book Review: White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland

  1. I so love this series. I was very frustrated with Angel and the drug use too. I think what Diana was going with here was showing how it is so easy for an addict to fall back into old patterns even when they know it is the wrong thing to so. I also think that when she was doing the drugs it makes everything else a bigger drama. While I wasn’t a huge fan of this storyline, I do get it. I think it makes it more realistic. If Angel were to walk away from the drug use and never relapse, would be very unlikely.

  2. Thanks, Laura! And Melanie, I do have to agree with you. As much as I do dislike the drug use, you’re right. It is more realistic that she falls back into using with all the justifications and excuses Angel spouts.

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