Rating: 4 of 5
On my list of Best Zombies in YA, Shallow Graves ranks high, right after The Reapers Are the Angels and Raising Stony Mayhall.
I enjoy the playgrounds located in gray zones, especially when there’s a killer who only murders other killers. (Think: Dexter Morgan or John Wayne Cleaver as popular examples.) Are they good for ridding the world of evil-doers? Is what they’re doing righteous in some twisted way? Is murder ever justified, morally or ethically?
In Shallow Graves, the monster with a conscience is a 17-year-old girl who just so happens to be sorta, kinda, but not all the way dead. Her name is Breezy, she’s half-Chinese, half-Irish, bisexual, and she wants to be an astronaut on the first manned mission to Mars. Or, at least, she was all those things when she was alive, back when she was human, before she was a zombie who craves killers, not brains.
Recommended to readers who want a dark fantasy with horrorish elements, who don’t mind an occasional non-linear timeline, who want to read something with little to no romance, and/or just plain want something different than the usual mainstream young adult literature.
Whatever Wallace writes next, I’m excited to read it.
P.S. I don’t think this book needs a sequel but I would love to read a companion novel (or three). The worldbuilding is solid; the characters are there, waiting. Breezy, Zeke, Jake, Violet, Esme, Lyle, Mother, even Rain — potentially endless storylines to explore.
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(Review cross-posted on LibraryThing and Goodreads.)