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Zombie Abbey

Review

Zombie Abbey

Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of THE TWIN’S DAUGHTER and RED GIRL, BLUE BOY, writes a mesmerizing historical-horror mashup in ZOMBIE ABBEY.

It’s 1920, the beginning to a hopefully new decade of peace in England, and the three teenage Clarke sisters of Porthampton Abbey thought that their biggest problems would be choosing what to wear to dinner and finding a suitable husband. That is, until the first dead-man-walking showed up.

No one in all of Porthampton believes it at first, but as more once-dead-men begin to appear, the aristocrats from the Upstairs and the servants from the Downstairs may just have to set aside their differences and work together in order to survive. With the aid of the dreamy stable boy Will Harvey, the quick thinking footman Daniel Murray, the clueless duke Raymond Allen, and the headstrong kitchen maid Fanny Rogers, the Clarke sisters may just possibly survive as long as their father stops throwing random dances and pushing suitors at them mid-zombie-apocalypse.

"Charming yet eerie, ZOMBIE ABBEY is the perfect novel for 'Downton Abbey' diehards as well as readers searching for something fluffy yet intense."

As a major "Downton Abbey" fan who just finished a binge, I have been dying for anything that was remotely similar to Downton, so when I first heard about ZOMBIE ABBEY, I was beyond thrilled. The moment I got my hands on a copy of this novel, I devoured it, and I am ecstatic to say that all my hopes and dreams about it have been fulfilled. While ZOMBIE ABBEY definitely shares many similarities to "Downton Abbey," it stands on its own as a super fun and engaging story. While this novel does have a zombie-centered plot, there is quite a bit of romance, and it was surprisingly very fluffy, which I loved.

I honestly expected there to be more zombies in this novel than there actually were. Due to the fact that the story mostly centers on the beginnings of the zombie apocalypse --- rather than right in the middle of it all --- there wasn’t an overload of death or gore happening yet. Everything revolving around the zombies was rather minimalistic, so this was by no means a "Walking Dead" or "Last of Us" type of zombie novel. Instead, I think this was a very light horror read that is perfect for readers who aren’t into all the blood, guts, and jump scares that the horror-genre typically brings.

The characters of ZOMBIE ABBEY are by far my favorite aspect of this novel. Throughout the story, readers will follow the lives of the numerous residents of Porthampton Abbey, including those who live in the Upstairs and Downstairs. There are seven main points of view followed throughout the novel, which I do think was a bit overwhelming at first. But nonetheless, each of the seven main characters did have their own little charming quirks that really stood out to me, and seeing things from the perspective of both the aristocracy and their servants as well as how their lives are so vastly different was intriguing to read about. I also loved how surprisingly funny it was to see the mindsets of those from the Upstairs and Downstairs as they’re forced to work together in order to survive the zombie apocalypse.

The ending to ZOMBIE ABBEY is very open-ended, and a lot of the story is left up to readers’ imaginations. When I reached the end of the last chapter, I turned the page, expecting more to the story, only for me to find the acknowledgments page, so I personally found the ending to be abrupt. As this is a standalone novel, a few more chapters or, at the very least, an epilogue to wrap things up would have been nice. Overall, though, the ending definitely marks a distinct shift in the characters’ lives, and it signals a new story for them all. I think that with this ending Baratz-Logsted may have opened up a gateway through which a potential sequel could be born, which I would be overjoyed to read.

Charming yet eerie, ZOMBIE ABBEY is the perfect novel for "Downton Abbey" diehards as well as readers searching for something fluffy yet intense.

Reviewed by Makayla H., Teen Board Member on April 27, 2018

Zombie Abbey
by Lauren Baratz-Logsted