Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I, Zombie by Jo Michaels Review

Hey readers, Ethan here with a special review for you guys today. I had the great pleasure of devouring this read from one of the radical authors I know a few weeks ago and I'm so excited to share my thoughts. So is the author! In fact, so excited that she's hosting a $0.99 sale to celebrate! What are we raving about today? I, Zombie by Jo Michaels. Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and our author:

It's the end of the world as we know it.

Trixie Collins is a normal teen making her way through high school. One night at a party, a boy comes on to her and won't take no for an answer. As she jerks her arm away, his fingernails cut into her skin.

When she finds her dog's mutilated body and realizes she's to blame, she starts to think maybe the zombie apocalypse they've been screaming about on the news isn't a hoax after all. Worse, she begins to think maybe she's one of the infected.

Now it's a fight for life as she joins together with her brethren to stop the humans intent on destroying them. Are zombies all bad, or is it just a huge misunderstanding?


Jo Michaels

Jo Michaels is...

Hi, I'm Jo. Let's forget all the "Jo Michaels is blah, blah, blah" stuff and just go with it. I'm a voracious reader (often reading more than one book at a time), a writer, a book reviewer, a mom, a wife, and one of the EICs at INDIE Books Gone Wild. I have an almost photographic memory and tend to make people cringe at the number of details I can recall about them and/or their book(s). My imagination follows me around like a conjoined twin and causes me to space out pretty often or laugh out loud randomly in completely inappropriate situations.

I have a degree in graphic design, and my journey to the end was one few students who begin that program ever complete. However, this was one case where my memory and OCD tendencies helped me. Graduation was one of the most amazing days of my life. But, my most amazing day was when my now husband proposed. Every little girl dreams of being Cinderella someday, and he pulled off the proposal of fantasies.

At the risk of sounding cliche, I'm going to let it out there and say how much I absolutely adore the man I'm married to. Along with my children, he's my whole world.

I've lived in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Georgia, but I've had my feet in almost every state. Traveling is something I adore, and have plans to someday see the Mongolia I've written about in Yassa.

One of my favorite things is hearing from fans! You can find me on social media most any day of the week. Connect! I'd love to hear from you.

My Thoughts:

While I have read collaborative works from Michaels in the past, I, Zombie marks my first full-length read from her. I've heard incredible words of praise from her fans, so I was more than pumped to check out this read from Jo. As many of my readers will well-remember, zombies are one of my least favorite genres. I've read two series that to this day remain two of my all-time favorites (Nazarea Andrews' The World Without End and Rachel Aukes Deadland Saga), but I have been hard pressed to find any other novels in this specific genre that have held my attention as they have.

I am proud to say that through a truly original and unique plot and an elegant writing style that left me hanging onto every word, Jo Michaels has definitely earned her spot on my list of favorites in the zombie genre.

I, Zombie was everything I wanted, and more!

I'm not going to lie to you guys, this was a super quick read for me and I can't say too terribly much about the plot without giving away massive spoilers. Like other zombie-poc novels, this one follows the story of the supposed end of days, but this time, with a twist. It's told from the point of view of the infected through their decline and fight with the virus that cripples their lives and civilization. Truly imaginative storytelling on Michaels part. It's a fast-paced tale that I devoured in just a couple of sittings. Michaels formatting on this one really was reflective of the plot. Each of the novels 26 chapters are appropriately titled with a letter of the alphabet corresponding to the appropriate theme, tone, or feelings expressed in that chapter. It was so exciting to see that literary device utilized to such perfection. The plot is full of twists and turns and features an ending that will leave you begging for more. You won't see this one coming, promise!

One of the more interesting aspects of this novel were the characters Michaels crafted. While the story has a relatively large cast Michaels was able to fully evolve each character and provide full story arcs for each member of her cast while still fitting the story into a shorter format. There was no need for excessive character description or subplots, as all characters involved were working towards a similar goal: survival. I'll touch on this more later, but this was definitely one read that left my mind reeling, long after finishing the final chapter. Of all the characters I really only want to touch on our main heroine, Trixie. Trixie grew on me massively over the course of the novel. Admittedly, I couldn't really relate to her for the longest time and at first she kind of got on my nerves ever so slightly. By the end of the novel I really saw Michaels make huge strides with Trixie's character and I was thoroughly impressed with the level of development we saw and the maturity her character gained. One extremely heart-wrenching moment truly captured Trixie's transition from girl to woman and it was one of the most powerful passages I've read in some time. Definitely an incredible twist on the 'coming-of-age' portion of the story.

A Southern girl herself, Michaels crafted the setting to I, Zombie to perfection. The feel of the bayou, the sounds of the wildlife, the thick humid air: Michaels nailed it with this one. I have never read a novel such as this one set in the Louisiana bayou. Over the years and many other novels, this has proven to be one of my favorite settings for novels, but few have conquered the tone the way Michaels has in this novel. It's beyond fitting to the story line and really pushes the plot further in many occasions.

I have to say I was more than a little overtaken with emotions at times during my reading of I, Zombie. I was forewarned that tissues may be needed, but I truly didn't expect hardcore emotion in a novel about zombies. In my experience reading zombie novels (admittedly I've read fewer than I can count on both hands), strong emotion is one of the last things I feel. Often gritty tales of survival, Michaels turns the genre on its' head with I, Zombie. Reading the transition from human to 'zombie' through the eyes of our protagonist Trixie made for an extremely touching tale that lead to many important themes being tackled along the way. Family, love, forgiveness, strength, mortality, and the declination of society are all themes that Michaels really hits home with in the pages of this novel. I don't expect there will be many dry eyes after devouring this read. It is definite a novel giving cause for reflection.

Truly one of the most unique reads I have read in this genre, Jo Michaels blew me away with I, Zombie. Never would I have imagined I would have felt the emotional pull of my heartstrings like Michaels achieved with this incredible novel. It was truly a pleasure to devour and will forever hold a special place on my shelf of unique reads. It should come as no surprise that I am granting I, Zombie a near-perfect 5-star review. I couldn't get enough of this story and I know I'll come back to this one again and again! A perfect read for all fans of horror or paranormal novels as well as anyone looking to add a new twist on an old favorite to their TBRs! This read is not to be missed! 


Alright folks, that's all I have for you on the topic of I, Zombie by the incredible Jo Michaels. As you can clearly see, I loved nearly everything about this novel. I couldn't get enough. Be sure to add it to your TBR today! And don't forget to take advantage of the $0.99 sale 48 HOURS (3/30-3/31/16) ONLY! Special thanks to Jo for supplying me with a copy in exchange for my honest review. Until next time, Happy Reading!


1 comment:

  1. THANK YOU so much for the AWESOME review, Ethan! Much appreciated! Sharing EVERYWHERE! :D I'm SOSO happy you enjoyed the story.