Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux
Read by Piper Goodeve and a Full Cast
Genre: Zombie Apocalypse
Quick Thoughts: A highly entertaining look at the search for safety and happiness in a brutal world, performed wonderfully by the narrator.
I expect to be reviewing a lot of Zombie based audiobooks over the next few weeks. With the Audible Frontiers association with Permuted press, 5 novels based on the undead were just released this week. Joe McKinney’s Dead City trilogy is being release the end of this month, and Mira Grant’s follow-up to her Hugo nominated Feed, titled Deadline is also on its way. So, I have declared May to be Zombie Appreciation Month. The first entry in my Zombie reviewing extravaganza is Allison Hewitt is Trapped: A Zombie Novel by Madeleine Roux. As we are beginning to see more frequently, Allison Hewitt is Trapped got its start as an internet serial, whose success lead to a book deal. Personally, I like this trend, this unorthodox path to publishing. I know there are probably those out there that feel the internet has lead to the bastardization of the publishing industry, yet, those people probably don’t enjoy stories of a brain eating undead apocalypse, so who cares what they say. For me, the most important thing is not what the origin of the novel is, but whether or not it is any good.
Zombies have become such an entertainment staple, with a multitude of movie, books, comics and even a hit series, that there seems to be push with horror writers to give there zombies a twist. For example, Brian Keene’s Zombies are actually corpses possessed by demons. Then there are Stephen King’s hive mind zombies in Cell. Madeleine Roux sticks with tradition Zombies and I am glad she did. Without having to spend time explaining the twits and turns of her version of zombies we can get right to what shines brightest in her tale, the characters. Roux’s story is structured like a series of blog entries, like JL Boune’s Day by Day Armageddon, but they read as a solid narrative detailing the struggles of the changing Zombified world. Allison Hewitt is quite a compelling character, she is in no way the superhero flawless protagonist, but a flawed human living is an increasingly inhuman world. You can feel her shocked horror as she is forced to do things she would never have considered herself able to do. It’s not a surprise that the majority of the males, whether her companions, or the commenters on her blog seem to be in love with her on some level. For those worried that this is a cutesy take on the post apocalyptic zombie genre, no need to worry, while the gore isn’t overwhelming there are plenty of brutal moments for the zombie enthusiast. What I liked most about Allison Hewitt is Trapped is it seems an everyman/women approach to the genre, not full of gun toting Special Ops types and brilliant scientist trying to save the world, but a group of normal yet endearing characters trying to find safety, and a home.
Piper Goodeve is the main narrator for this tale, and I sort of feel like I may have a crush on her voice. For someone relatively new to the industry she reads the story like a veteran. Her voice is perfect for Allison, not the sultry seductress, or the stoic stateswomen, but just a solid everywoman. Her characterizations are strong as well, whether it is the soft English tones on the radio, or an ornery horny doctor, she finds the right tone for them, without making them into caricatures. The production used a multitude of unaccredited voice actors to handle the blog commentors. While I liked this, I wasn’t a huge fan of the sound of typing in the background, it just seemed unnecessary. My favorite commentors where the fiery Reverend, Brooklyn Girl, and the strong, yet soft spoken Isaac who seemed to serve as almost a stabilizing force for Allison. If you are looking for a bloody gory Zombie kill fest were chopping of heads is more important the overall story, you may not enjoy Allison Hewitt is Trapped, but if you want a highly entertaining look at the search for safety and happiness in a brutal world, I recommend you check it out.