Thursday, October 20, 2011

Love in the Time of Flesh Eating Monsters

I dislike romances. And when I say dislike, I mean I'd rather have rabid hamsters gnaw at my eyeballs than read a sappy and/or tragic love story. That being said, zombies and mutated flesh craving monsters pretty much make everything better. They even got me reading romances.

The funny thing about Carrie Ryan is that I read a really good short story of hers in the Zombies VS Unicorns anthology before reading The Forest of Hands & Teeth. The romantic plotline? Mary has loved Travis for years but Travis' brother Harry is in love with her, so Travis picks Mary's BFF Cass to marry despite the fact that he too is in love with Mary. Oh yeah, and Cass is in love with Harry. Got that? Now add in their village suddenly being overrun by the zombie hordes that have surrounded them for generations. The four teens take off with Mary's brother and sister-in-law to start a new life... unfortunately for some that will mean a new life as a resurrected cannabalistic corpse.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre was one of those books that started off being a post-apocalyptic dystopian adventure then proceeded to become a romance later on. Deuce is one of the most kick butt heroines ever; she's trained her entire life to hunt and kill the mutated flesh craving Freaks that threaten her underground village. Then she gets teamed up with Fade, an outsider. Suddenly the village elders are offing people and the pair are banished topside. Joined on the surface by Stalker and Tegan, refugees from a violent roving gang, they have to find someplace safe from the Freaks. Deuce also has to decide who she loves: Fade, who knows her, or Stalker, who mostly just wants someone capable of beating him up. Of course, Fade may actually be in love with Tegan.

Needless to say, there's a lot of (necessary) blood and guts so these are not romances for the faint of heart. Ryan includes some truly creepy scenes with baby zombies. Her zombie infested world continues in The Dead-Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places, as well as the above mentioned anthology. Aguirre's world, including the romantic drama, will continue in Outpost, scheduled to be released in Fall 2012.

--The Stacked Librarian

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