Welcome to I AM READING THIS SO HARD RIGHT NOW, where I refuse to recap books for you because I’m pretending I’m busy doing other really important things (I’m probz just playing QuizUp on my phone, though). Recently, I’ve been catching up on books that I didn’t get to read during my last go-round on the Rainbow List. This means a mess of picture books, middle grade fiction, and non-LGBTQ YA fiction. I know I am very late to the game on this one, but I wanted to talk briefly about why I love Dead City by James Ponti:
- Three, count ‘em, three kinds of zombies! I like a little variety when it comes to reanimated corpses. Some of Ponti’s zombies are brain-dead and kinda rotty-like while others are kinda like us. If you find yourself a bit bored with the slow, lolling brain-eaters, you’re in luck as far as Dead City is concerned. Some of these zombies are fast movers and super strong to boot.
- Strong, smart female character alert! Molly, our heroine, and Natalie, her fellow zombie-expert, are tough and brilliant, like a little bit of Buffy and a little bit of Willow thrown into each character (if I make a BtVS reference, you know I’m pleased). They kick zombie ass, but are just as skilled in cracking codes and finding clues. At the same time, they’re not overly perfect, which is the kind of female protagonist that really grates on my nerves. Molly is brave, sure, but she has some real fears and weaknesses, and sometimes she screws up big time. Oh, and there’s one more female zombie hunter in the mix, but I don’t want to spoil who she is. But trust me, she’s amazing. If you insist on some male characters, have no fear. Ponti’s got your back with Grayson and Alex.
- Molly, Natalie, Grayson, and Alex are total nerds, but they’re not nerds played for laughs, which is trend that’s really bothered me lately (Ahem, Big Bang Theory). I’m so tired of every smart kid/nerd being intensely unpopular, lonely, clutzy, or socially awkward. Nerds can have friends! Nerds can be comfortable in public settings! Nerds can rip the arms right off a zombie! It’s OK to be a smart kid!
- It takes place in NYC, which I like, because I haven’t been to many other places. Dead City-verse zombies can’t really travel to the outer-boroughs because of their dependence on Manhattan schist. I really know nothing about Manhattan in general (I’ve always lived in Queens and Brooklyn), but apparently the island is built upon Manhattan Schist, Inwood Marble, and Fordham Gneiss. Holy crap, I accidentally learned something!
This book has been out since 2012, so, look, I know I’m way behind here. But if you skipped this title for whatever reason, give it a look-see. It’s fast-moving and fun without being vapid or insubstantial. The second book in the series, Blue Moon, is already out.
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid