Thursday, December 27, 2007

Duo Review - The Down Home Zombie Blues

I have never been a huge sci-fi fan. Space travel and all that entails is not my cup of tea. When I originally heard about Linnea Sinclair I wasn’t really interested in any of her books. But as I lurked the message boards, specifically AAR’s , many were raving about Gabriel’s Ghost. Why not give it a try? The worst that could happen is it would be just another DNF.

Gabriel’s Ghost was definitely not a DNF! And when I heard about The Down Home Zombie Blues, my initial thought was, “What’s up with that title??” And when Kristie(J) started reading it first and said it was pretty good, I quickly got my own copy. And as soon as I finished, it was destined to be in my top 10 for 2007.
The Down Home Zombie Blues takes place in Florida during Christmas week. Intergalactic visitors have come to find one of their crew members who has been murdered. He was living undercover in Florida to investigate the outbreak of zombies that have appeared on Earth. Now when I think of zombies, I think of Night of the Living Dead or those crazy ones from 28 Days Later. These zombies were man made as a war tool, as it is explain. I have to admit I was a bit confused by all of this, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story.
Linnea can also write kick- ass heroines and in each book I have read, they are all strong and strong. She should start trade marking her heroines. Jorie is a strong and intelligent woman, but a bit fragile. Her past with men hasn’t been the best. But she has more important things to worry about at the moment. She is the commander to her crew that has come to Earth to stop these zombies from their killing rampage. They also have to figure out who has control of them. Then there is Theo, a homicide detective. He also happens to be Greek and speaks it throughout the book. I found this to be very swoon-worthy especially when he starts to fall in love with Jorie and calls her his love and darling in Greek.
Most of the time these two are trying to stop these zombie creatures. There is also a great deal of dialogue on how to do it. We also get a glimpse of world that Jorie has come from and why the Earthlings or “nils” as she calls them don’t know about her alien race. But Jorie looks like a human, so you don’t have to worry about her having a third arm or tentacles coming out of her ears.
Theo adores Jorie, where as she is a bit timid with their “courtship”. She has a lot on her plate with saving Earth and all. Plus if she gets involved with a human, they may not have a future together because her job is basically to police the universe from the baddies.
If you are looking for a steamy romance, you may be disappointed. Theo and Jorie’s path to love is more subtle and takes time. They are trying to stay alive and when they have some down time they enjoy the small things like Theo feeding Jorie peanut butter which is her new favorite food. (But if you are like me, and need to know if there is sex, there are some sex scenes, so don’t despair!)
The Down Home Zombie Blues is another great read by Linnea and she is proving to be a great sci-fi author. There are not many authors like her and she has found her niche.
Don’t let the strange title keep you away from this incredible read.
Grade: 4 out 5


I read my first Linnea Sinclair book, Games of Command, earlier this year and was blown away. I had to get more by her. I followed that up with Gabriel’s Ghost and was blown away again. I also have The Accidental Goddess and Finder’s Keepers in the TBR pile and someday (hopefully soon) will get to them!
So it was with great anticipation that I began reading The Down Home Zombie Blues.
It’s not that I didn’t like this book – I did – enough to recommend it – but it wasn’t the same as the previous two and it wasn’t what I was expecting/hoping for. I love a good sci-fi romance or what used to be called futuristic so I was kind of hoping that’s what this one was. It wasn’t.
Instead this one is set in the present day and the setting is – well – Earth. It starts off in the
usual sci-fi romance kind of way. Jorie Mikkalah has traveled to Earth to try and find a missing team member. Jorie is a commander whose duty it is to track down and eliminate zombies, creatures created by her people to do something – I didn’t really catch what, that have been taken over by a rival group. On earth she runs into difficulties in the name of homicide detective Theo Petrakos. When he stumbles into their search while investigating a strange murder, Jorie and her gang reluctantly agree to work with him for the good of the planet.
As I said – this one wasn’t bad. I loved Jorie. I thought her a great heroine, strong yet compassionate. I found Theo a bit colourless as a hero and rather unremarkable though. And there was a lot of the book that was just too difficult to really understand. If this was a normal kind of sci-fi romance it wouldn’t have bothered me, but I felt I should have ‘gotten’ this one a bit more. I also couldn’t get a picture of the zombies in my head – another issue since they were the villains of the book. It all takes place in a very short amount of time and I found the pace a bit frantic at times.
So – my thoughts on this one – not bad, but I liked her other ones better
Grade: 3.5 out of 5


PS - I'd link to her website but it seems to be down at the moment. I'm very excited though, that her next book due out soon, is a sequel to Gabriel's Ghost.


Phyl said...

I'm about 2/3 of the way through this one and so far I'm really enjoying it even if it's been heavy on the action and light on the romance. Ms. Sinclair has a very engaging style and I've liked the other 3 or 4 books of hers that I've read. I agree that Gabriel's Ghost was a terrific book, but I also really loved The Accidental Goddess. There was a lot of humor in that one.

I've been lazy about blogging, but I've been mentally composing a blog about the Christmas-themed books I've read the last couple of weeks. I'll probably work on it tomorrow or Saturday. This book will get a mention.

Jace said...

I'm glad to know that you liked Games Of Command, because I'm going to try it - my 1st Sinclair book.

Kristie (J) said...

Oh Jace - I'd love to know what you think of it!! The hero in GoC is great!!! Half cyborg/half human. Hmmm - I think I need to do a reread of it!

Phyl: she does have a perfect blend of romance and sci fi doesn't she? Her books are in the Science Fiction/Fantasy section here not the romance. If there are others with this kind of blend, I'll have to start looking on those shelves too!

Kris said...

Kristie I am in agreement with you. This one was good but I enjoyed her other books more. This one dragged a little for me. But I am also not a big fan on sci-fi on present-day Earth books so that also colors my perception.

Katie(babs) said...

Jace, you have to also read Gabriel's Ghost. That was my first Sinclair book and I was blown away.
And since there are not many sci-fi authors I read, I hope Linnea writes for a very long time.

Kristie (J) said...

Katie *g* like the Western, I have many a good sci-fi writer I can recommend :)

Kristie (J) said...

And ditto on Gabriel's Ghost - it's also most excellent!

Jace said...

Kristie, the hero in GoC is half human/half cyborg, huh? Reminds me of Wizard in Eve Kenin's Driven. *grin* If you haven't read it yet, please do soon! I'd love to know your opinion of how the two books compare.

Katie, looks like I shall have to pick up Gabriel's Ghost too, the same time I do GoC. :) Can't ignore such high recommendation. LOL

Kristie (J) said...

Jace: I have Driven!! Now I'll have to get it out of the pile :)