In the early 20th century, the flu epidemic tore through England killing many. As the people try to recover from such a huge loss, a new plague comes in to wreak havoc on the people. Those who died are coming home. Much like the pest that many blamed for spreading the flu, their bites are spreading this new plague. The country is overrun but their morals have many believing that killing these previously dead people will send their souls into damnation. When Ella kills one, she opens the door to being the one damned soul in her village that can kill the vermin and save everyone else. Until the duke returns to his family lands to lead the war on the undead. Spoilers will appear in this review
I was excited to read this book. A reinterpretation of Cinderella with zombies, it was right up my ally. It was pretty clear within the first couple of chapters this book was like someone took Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and combined it with Ever After: A Cinderella Story. Ella’s Mother died when she was young. Her father remarries a cruel woman only interested in money. He returns from the war in a near vegetative state leaving the stepmother to relegate Ella to a servants status. When Ella accidentally meets and nearly decapitates the Duke, she hides her real identity from him. Though of course it wouldn’t be much of a story if he didn’t pursue her. Fascinated by a woman willing to battle the undead he begins to attempt to court Ella. They bond over their love of fast cars and the ability to battle the vermin and eventually fall for each other.
Ella’s stepmother is of course scheming to have her eldest foul daughter marry the Duke and Ella must hide her forbidden love from her family. Typical cinderella shenanigans ensue and in the end, of course Ella gets her man. Then they must race to battle the Undead herd and its hive-like queen. After the battle ends, a dirty and resolved Ella returns home to evict her evil stepmother and finds her trying to murder her father. She defends him and in the process infects her stepmother with queen zombie toxic blood. This is where the story really lost me. In what appears to be an attempt to lead into a sequel she lets her evil infected stepmother leave to go out and munch on random people and none of the soldiers or people who just eradicated the horde stop her.
I wanted to love this book but it had so many similarities to the two stories I mentioned above and quite a few moments that made you question the characters and the author herself that I am not sure it will bring me back for a second book. The first half of the book was great but the second half left me with a lingering disappointment.
My rating: 2/5 stars.
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