Audiobook Review: The Undead Situation by Eloise J. Knapp

9 08 2011

The Undead Situation by Eloise J. Knapp

Read by Kevin T. Collins

Audible Frontiers

Genre: Zombie Horror

Quick Thoughts: The Undead Situation will please fans of classic zombie tales with familiar apocalyptic situations, but will also offer something for those looking for a twist to their zombie lore by allowing the reader to view those situations through the skewed eyes of her main character.

Grade: B+

I have always loved black comedies. As a teenager my favorite movie was the black comedy Heathers. Heathers, a satire about social cliques and school violence, is a movie I don’t think they could make today, yet it is full of so many memorable lines and situations and wonderful performances by Christian Slater and Wynona Ryder. I have always been fascinated by characters like Slater’s JD, sociopath and morally ambiguous. It’s hard to find characters like him in movies or fiction. Even the biggest anti-hero, tends to have a conscience that is something more than an inconvenience. This was one of the factors that drew me to Eloise J. Knapp’s The Undead Situation. Beyond the typical draw of the Zombie Apocalypse for me, the idea of viewing said apocalypse through the eyes of a morally ambiguous sociopath was quite intriguing.

Since the dead began to rise, not much has changed in Cyrus V. Sinclair’s life beyond the fact that he doesn’t have to go to work anymore. Cyrus was expecting some sort of apocalypse to come in his lifetime and was prepared for it. Now he sits in his fortified apartment, watching the undead take over his city as if it was some sort of movie. Yet, when forced to save the life of a young girl, Cyrus must  reevaluate his decision to ride out the apocalypse in his apartment, and heads out into a changed and brutal world. The Undead Situation really doesn’t add much new to the zombie apocalypse genre. Knapp’s zombies are basically Romero style, and the assortment of Survivors that pepper the land fall into your typical apocalyptic types. Yet, where Knapp excels is her ability to filter stereotypical apocalyptic scenarios
through the eyes of a couple of incredibly unique characters. Her characters are not especially likable, and only heroic if it serves their purpose, but they are immensely compelling. Cyrus reminded me a lot of the Heather’s character JD in the early stages of the novel, but just when you feel you are truly beginning to understand him, something changes. As a narrator, Cyrus is highly unreliable, his inner dialogues capable of suddenly revealing a side of himself that even he hadn’t realized was there. Yet, The Undead Situation isn’t just a character study, it’s full of a lot of fun action that any zombie fiction fan will enjoy. The Undead Situation will please fans of classic zombie tales with familiar apocalyptic situations, but will also offer something for those looking for a twist to their zombie lore by allowing the reader to view those situations through the skewed eyes of her main character.

I think a big reason I associated Cyrus with JD from Heathers was based on the narration of Kevin T. Collins.  It almost seemed as if his was channeling the voice and cadence of Christian Slater, giving it a bit of a twist, and presenting it as the voice of Cyrus and for me this tactic, if intentional, was brilliantly done. Collins does what first person narrators should do by creating a voice appropriate for his character and maintaining it throughout the reading. Collins also handled the many peripheral characters well, both male and female.  The Undead Situation works very well as an audiobook, and was one of the bigger surprises for me in Audible’s zombie celebration. Luckily, Knapp has set up the novel for an obvious sequel, and I will be looking for it with great anticipation. 

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2 responses

12 08 2011
Jen - Devourer of Books

This. Sounds. Awesome. Will definitely look into it.

10 05 2013

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