Book Review: The Accidental Zombie by Samantha Lienhard

I recently picked up The Accidental Zombie (Horror Comedy 97 pages) by Samantha Lienhard because it seemed interesting and amusing.

“Nathan Harris has always lived a quiet, uneventful life. Every morning, he leaves his isolated house on the edge of town to ride the cable car up to the top of the snow-covered mountain, where the Rey Research Facility waits. There, he works all day with his best friend and fellow scientist, George Davidson, until it is time to go home for the night. Science is his passion, and his world is one of peace and stability. Until now. When their latest assignment goes horribly right, Nathan and George find themselves in possession of a terrifying secret – a zombie has escaped their lab to run loose in the facility. Worse still, they quickly become convinced that if anyone were to find out about it, the two of them would be forever stigmatized as mad scientists. After all, no one accidentally creates a zombie. With only their wits, the lab’s resources, and George’s arsenal of video game knowledge at their disposal, the two set out to stop the zombie before it is too late.”

The addition of the amnesia portion of the zombie infection added a new twist to a common story, which I thought was very interesting. Can you imagine being bit by a zombie and then not remembering? Because that makes things even more complicated. There’s so much in the modern entertainment world these days about zombies and the zombie apocalypse that most people would immediately seek some sort of treatment if they found themselves bitten by a person, especially one that portrayed zombie-like behavior. I thought the subtle references to the modern zombie culture were amusing and I was highly entertained by how Nathan and George realized how ridiculously they would be viewed by anyone who saw what they were doing.

I thought this story was a lot of fun and also a pretty accurate representation of how the zombie apocalypse might actually start, which is to say, not via some evil, nefarious plot by a large, corporate organization but rather accidentally.

The two scientists, Nathan and George, are definitely bumbling scientists and it amused me greatly to see Nathan’s interactions with his peers and the other people in this story, as well as George’s opposite views on dealing with social situations. Right from the beginning, Nathan is set up as being socially awkward and not particularly good at dealing with people and then he’s thrown into a situation where he has to deal with people in order to save them from becoming a zombie. I think Nathan did a great job throughout his character arch of showing that he really could learn how to interact and care about people. Maybe I’m not saying that very well because Nathan always cared about people, he just got better at demonstrating his care for the people around him. Take his interactions with Mike, the gentleman who operates the cable car, for instance. In the beginning of the story, Mike attempts to interact with Nathan and Nathan doesn’t know how to respond. By the end of the story, Nathan realizes that he needs to do better to show Mike how appreciative he is for Mike’s presence in his life.

There was an element of mystery with this story, as well, because Stacy was bitten, but didn’t demonstrate the same characteristics as the others who were bitten. This was also interesting because it’s not clear how or why the zombie was actually biting people. Stacy’s bite was on her arm under her coat and that’s such an interesting place for a zombie to bite that I was sometimes thinking that maybe Stacy wasn’t bitten by the zombie and that there might have been other things going on. She was bitten, then treated the wound, then covered it up. I thought this part of the story was nicely done.

Overall, I would probably rate this as a three on my rating scale. It’s a good, quick read with fun characters and a lot of amusement.

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About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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