City of the Lost by Stephen Blackmoore
Dan's rating: 4 of 5 stars
A job to steal a precious stone goes wrong and a thug named Joe Sunday is murdered. Now Joe's a zombie with a craving for human flesh and everyone in town is after the stone. Is there anyone Joe can trust and can he find the stone before a centuries-old madman uses it to become immortal?
Right out of the box, I have to say that this book is pure fun. While I'm giving it the same rating as Winter's Bone, it in no way is as well written or powerful. That being said, here we go!
City of the Lost is an entertaining noir tale that just happens to star a zombie. The dialogue is hard boiled and in the present tense. It has moments of hilarity and not the lame attempts at humor other urban fantasy noir tales that shall remain nameless use. It also has a lot less misogyny than the tales about a certain unfunny wizard from Chicago normally display.
Joe Sunday wasn't a nice guy before being made a zombie and dying didn't help his manners. He kills and bludgeons his way through this tale, all in pursuit of a stone that may or may not be able to turn him back into a human and Giavetti, the man who covets it. The supporting cast are an interesting bunch: a Nazi sorcerer named Neumann, and his henchmen Archie and Jughead. Jughead's a little person with the teeth and demeanor of a pitbull. There's Samantha, the woman with a connection to the villain, the Bruja, an urban witch, and Frank Tanaka, a detective who's also investigating Giavetti.
There's a lot of dark humor in this book and I caught myself snickering a few times, from Joe using a dog to bludgeon someone, speculating on the ethics of eating hookers to keep from rotting, to Joe sneering and saying "I didn't want any part of that guy in my mouth." Funny stuff.
Any complaints? Not really. There were a lot of twists and only about half of them were predictable. I have a feeling it's meant to be the first book in the series but it was quite a satisfying read on it's own. For a fun zombie book, it's an easy four.
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