Title: Zombies in the East End
Author: Roxanne Dent
Series: – –
Length: Short story
Available: 18th Jan
Billie’s robotic hand is a constant reminder never to be cocky and never to trust. Nowadays, she spends her time as a bouncer at a local pub, keeping violence to a minimum. When a man staggers in and makes a meal out of one of the women, Billie is forced to kill him—and realizes he was already dead.
When she goes to visit Callie, the woman she secretly loves, she learns the strange incident at the pub isn’t the first: Callie’s hospital for prostitutes is overrun with the walking dead, and they’re thrown headlong into a fight for survival—and a whole new lesson about what’s really important.
Source: ARC from Less Than Three Press via NetGalley
I loved the sound of this book, Victorian F/F steampunk romance with zombies? What’s not to like?
Well, sadly, beyond the very beginning, not a lot. History-wise there are a lot of Americanisms (pants, trash can, theater) peppered throughout and I’m rather doubtful of Billie being used by a well-bred ex-governess as a name for her daughter in the 1870s. The setting is quite well done (apart from Tiger Bay – isn’t that in Cardiff?), but Victorian London feels familiar enough these days that I don’t need much to get me there.
As for the story itself, well, apart from the start I found it dragged quite a bit. Which is surprising considering the short length of this book. I kind of expected more peril and danger, while the romance is pretty non-existent. It goes from Billie’s attraction to love without much in between. The steampunk aspect fades out pretty quickly after a strong start too.
Which all makes for an okay read, but slightly lacking in all aspects. It’s quick enough to be entertaining, but beyond that I was left a tiny bit disappointed.
Zombies in the East End is out 18th January.
Visit Roxanne Dent for more details.