Book Review: Zombie Walkabout

Zombie Walkabout

  • Title: Zombie Walkabout
  • Author: Phillip Murrell
  • Series: None
  • Genre: Zombie Romantic Comedy
  • Publishing Date: November 23rd, 2019
  • Publishing Co.: Indie
  • Length: 399 pages
  • Format: Kindle, Paperback
  • Acquired: Given free paperback in exchange for an honest review
  • Amazon Link: Zombie Walkabout

Thrill rides? Safari? A cruise? Why waste your time (and money) when the best way to spend your holiday is at ZOMBIE WALKABOUT!

Our staff has packages available for whatever your desire. Planning a memorable bucks party? Check. Want to pray for the souls of the victims? Check. Looking to retrieve medical samples for all the innovative research in zombie medicine? We have a lab on our premises! We can even set you up with a trip to visit the Aboriginal Australian tribes living among the dead.

But zombie hunting sounds dangerous! No worries. Our state-of-the-art armor combination is scientifically proven to keep you one hundred percent protected. Here at Zombie Walkabout, we pride ourselves on our flawless safety record. The only concern you’ll have is how all subsequent holidays will never live up to this one!

So hurry up and commit, mate. Book this summer to meet American mix martial artist Sam “Pounder” Ponsness. This rising star will augment our staff for the season.

Zombie Walkabout. Where the dead give you a reason for living!


First Chapter Challenge:

I went into this book thinking it was going to be a cheesy, overdone-humor riddled story with little substance. Honestly, I just needed that “Z” to finish off my A to Z Reading Challenge for 2020, and I thought this would be an easy read. The very first page or two fulfilled these expectations, but then I was surprised when that beginning turned out to be a joke for the characters’ sakes. In actuality, this first chapter contained a good amount of depth and character-building, paving the way for me to become emotionally attached to this world and its inhabitants! I think it’s safe to say that I’ve been hooked.


Final Judgment: 4 Stars out of 5

Trigger Warning: Contains graphic violence, adult language, and some sexual content.

Despite the cartoonish cover with a young girl taking a selfie bashing a zombie with a red frying pan, that is not what this book is about at all. And that’s a good thing. Don’t let the cover turn you off! In fact, this novel is much more than that. American Mixed Martial Artist Sam takes a trip with his friends to Australia to participate in the Zombie Walkabout–an area walled off for the very rich to fight some zombies without fear of being infected themselves. But after the trip is over, he ends up taking a job as a tour guide for a few months as his PR manager tries to get him into the fight of his career back in the States. As he works and grows acquainted with the Aussies, he realizes how devastating the zombie predicament was to their country. This headstrong, rash young man slowly finds his morality and empathy in Australia, not to mention a lovely lady to pine over. But those in the States are not as inclined to his soft-heartedness.

Pros:

The character-building was phenomenal. Who Sam became by the end of the book was completely different from the man that he had been in the beginning. Not to mention the friendships that blossomed throughout the story and the intricacies that went into each of the side characters. Every person in this book felt real. Tangible.

Humor and Australian-slang abound. I love learning about different countries and cultures, and Murrell gives us a little taste of Australian life in this novel. There are bits of slang, different idioms, and a brief snapshot of what life is like Down Under. I enjoyed the writing immensely, if just for this. There is also a lot of humor interspersed on each page. Zombie stories can get rather depressing quite quickly, and the circumstances of this world are no exception. But the humor keeps it hidden and allows readers to continue the story without a need for mental breaks.

Unique take on the Zombie story. I’ve read so many zombie stories and watched so many movies and TV shows about them that I’d thought I’d seen it all. I was wrong. Murrell breathed new life into the Zombie genre for me with his completely different take on the beasts.

Cons:

There’s a love interest. Normally, I am all for romance in any and all books! Especially ones where you wouldn’t normally have a lot of love. But this one just doesn’t seem to do it. Sam for some reason pines over this woman for months, never does anything about it, and barely even says two words to her. Why does he love her? There’s no common ground, no connection. It’s a bit too similar to the insta-love trope for me.

The plot can drag on. I love the premise of the story, and it is actually a fresh take on the overdone zombie story. But even knowing that this is not the classic run-for-your-life zombie story, it can get a bit boring at times. And it’s a hefty book. There’s not much action, fear, or external conflict. Instead, most of it is internal. Great for character building, but can get repetitive after chapters and chapters of variations of the same thing.

Overall, this was an entertaining read! I went into it with faulty expectations, but rather than be disappointed by my mistake, I was excited to get into a book with substance. Perfect for anyone wanting to break out of their traditional zombie story and into a unique take!

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