February 22, 2013
Case File 13: Zombie Kid
First sentence: "Please relax and make yourself comfortable."
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Review copy provided by the author.
There are two things you should know about Nick, Carter, and Angelo. One: they are inseparable. Two: they love Halloween. This Halloween's a bust, though, because Nick has been spirited off to the Bayous of Louisiana in order to go to the funeral of a great-aunt he's never met.
Who might possibly have been a voodoo witch.
So when Nick finds an amulet in a crypt (at midnight), you should expect weird things to happen, right? How about turning into a zombie? At first it's cool -- who wouldn't want to be a zombie, right? -- but Nick and friends eventually end up racing against the clock before Nick ends up undead permanently.
On the one hand, this is a fun, silly, horror-lite story. It's just about my speed when it comes to zombies (I just don't do the undead), and I kind of liked both Nick and Co's reaction to the zombifying. Very 10-year-old reaction. And the chapter titles --"Do Not Try This Part at Home" and "This Chapter is Where Things Really Start to Get Weird" -- totally killed me. Oh, and I liked the increasingly decaying cartoon of the boy at the beginning of each chapter.
But, the more I read the less I liked it. From the narrator that bookends the story (unnecessary) to the snotty girls that were supposed to compete with Nick and Co (pointless; why have them, if all they're going to do is get in the way?) to the mildly weird and kind of confusing ending (huh? Where'd HE come from?), it's internal logic (as Sondy would put it) just didn't hold up for me.
Then again, I'm not 9. So it may just be me.