Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: Shakespeare Undead

Lori Handeland, 2010, St Martin's Griffin

Zombies are stalking the streets of Elizabethan London, and celebrated playwright William Shakespeare is on the hunt. But where are the undead coming from? What is the true identity of the strangely-alluring boy now assisting Shakespeare in his quest? And how will Shakespeare's one true love react when she discovers that her lover is himself a necromancer...and a vampire?

Shakespeare Undead is a zombie novel falling more into the realm of paranormal romance than dark fantasy or horror, and with the focus accordingly upon romantic interactions between the two main protagonists. 'Fun and fluffy' just about sums up the contents; the central plot is so thin as to be almost nonexistent, and the action might just as well be taking place in modern-day downtown Sydney for all the sense of Elizabethan London conjured by the author, but the character-driven 'padding' and bouts of (admittedly somewhat self-indulgent) silliness make for pleasant enough, if not overly satisfying, reading. Think of it as providing downtime for your brain before the next Mira Grant novel comes along.

(Shakespeare Undead is distributed in Australia by Macmillan).

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