WZMB by Andre Duza (Deadite Press)
We can safely say that the zombie genre is a bit over used and overdone. Sometimes there’s a book that comes out and shows you that sometimes a fresh perspective is all a genre really needs. Andre’s book is one such book. It’s told through radio transcripts and feels more like a play than an actual book. It’s an interesting glimpse at the characters and you really get a chance to know them. Had any of Martin and his radio crew been boring this would have sunk like the Titanic. The way the story is told it’s important to have a talented cast of characters to tell it. That’s where WZMB shines. You know that you’re reading a zombie novel but at the same time it doesn’t matter. You’re reading about the survivors and how they’re coping.
The story moves at a pretty decent clip, but the odd thing about Martin Stone is that he doesn’t seem too controversial. This is a guy reacting to the world around him. The show is clearly a tribute to Howard Stern and I swear you can hear Howard’s voice in your head as you’re reading it. We are all thinking the same way, and these are questions we too would be asking if we found ourselves in the same situation. Andre has done a great job at hooking the reader and making us almost forget that this is a book told through a radio show. It’s an interesting way to tell a story and it works. It’s unconventional and as I read it I wondered how it was all going to end. He sets the story up so well that you truly become attached to Martin, Raven, and everyone else.
WZMB successfully takes a genre that has been done almost to death and has breathed some life into it. The story itself deals less with the zombies and more about the survivors. It seems as if the zombies themselves aren’t really the important part of the novel. The survivors are. If it had been just another by the numbers zombie story it wouldn’t have been the same. At the end of the novel you even begin to see what Andre wanted us to see all along. For the answer you have to read the book. This is a book that you don’t want to miss. It’s got a little violence and gore but not so much that the casual horror fan won’t pick it up. If you like fresh takes on tired horror genres you should pick up WZMB. (Michael Noe)