Mar 1, 2012

The Zombie Story

Publisher: M.M. Shelley
Publish Date: 10 May 2011
Source: from author
Series: The Chronicles of Orlando
Other Books in Series: Dead Relatives

Unfolding on the streets of Los Angeles is a new breed of monster...

Orlando, fresh from the mid west, arrives at his new high school on his Harley Davidson. All he wants is to make it through the day, and begin his training as a Zombie Hunter.But someone has different plans for him.

The Zombie Story is the first novella in a young adult series.

This novella starts out with Orlando moving to Los Angeles during his last year of high school.  He had to move after the economy crashed and both his parents found jobs in L.A.  After Orlando witnesses a murder outside his home, things begin to unravel.  First, his mom is upset with him.  She thinks that he made up the crime to get back at them for moving.  Then his grandfather has someone come over and tell him something that is unbelievable.

At first Orlando doesn’t believe Maxwell, his grandfather’s friend, when he tells him about zombies and that he is supposed to train to kill them.  Then, when he is going to the junkyard to get parts for the car his mother gave him, he spots a motorcycle that he has to walk home.  It is during that walk that he encounters his first zombie and uses some of his magick to help him defeat him.  Orlando has never been tested to see what level of magick he is.

At school the next day, Maxwell introduces him to Ruben.  Ruben is a zombie hunter who will train Orlando.  After the eventful day, Orlando meets Fernando aka Fernie which eventually leads him and Ruben to Tijuana, Mexico.  There he learns some secrets…some he may not have wanted to know.

I thought that this novella was a little choppy.  You would be talking about one thing and the next thing you knew, it would be something else.  I think that there was a lot of information and background story to put in a novella.  This should have been a novel which would have given you time to read the pertinent information.  The plot was there for it and the development of the story was rushed.  When I first read the synopsis for this book, I thought it might be an interesting read and it was.  Overall, I thought it was a good book and am anxious to read the sequel, Dead Relatives.
Everyone in the world had magick in one form or another.  The ones who had the least amount were known as Novices, most of the population was Novice.  Novices had the smallest amount and had no control over when it was used…The ones at the next level were known as Mercurial, they were given the name Mercurial because their magick was never reliable and always unstable, it was never stead and it could be destructive.  The third level of magick were Wizards, they had learned to control their power and a wizard was someone who’s magick was the most strong and consistent.  There were not many who reached the level of Wizard.

The cover has Orlando on it in his leather jacket and what looks like the Los Angeles skyline.  I like the colors on the cover.  I also like the color of Orlando’s eyes. 

Orlando.  He is the main character of the story.  He has this naiveté about him when it first comes to learning about zombies.  It is surprising considering the magick that is in the world, but refreshing at the same time.

Ruben and his sister Elodie.  Ruben is the one that is training Orlando to fight zombies.  He has no doubts in backing Orlando when he needs to go to Tijuana, Mexico.  Elodie helps Ruben and Orlando when they are in Mexico.  She is strong willed and intelligent in the use of her magick. 

Orlando’s grandfather.  Orlando describes him as being “off his rocker.”  He is the one who first brought Maxwell in to tell Orlando about the zombies.  Even though he is sometimes wrong, he still has Orlando's best interest at heart.  He was also a zombie hunter.

Zombies.  It was refreshing to read about them in a different atmosphere than I have read before.  This story is about zombies, but it doesn’t focus on them.

Fernando.  He is a wizard who comes and sees Orlando one night telling him about a mission that he is supposed to embark upon.  He seems like he is one of the good guys, but you can never tell.  

The choppiness of the writing.  Sometimes I felt like I got whiplash when reading.  At times, I had to re-read something to make sure I was following along with the story.  More towards the end of the novella, it got better.

Maxwell.  When Orlando first meets him, he tells Orlando that he has a temper after he was woken up by his grandfather’s loud television.  Then, the next day at school, he asks Orlando, “What are you doing here?” and then tells him that he is supposed to be training.

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