Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator
by Karina Fabian
About the Book:
By the 2040s, the shambling dead have become an international problem. While governments and special interest groups vie for the most environmentally-friendly way to rid the world of zombies, a new breed of exterminator has risen: The Zombie Exterminator. When zombie exterminator Neeta Lyffe gets sued because a zombie she set afire stumbles onto a lawyer's back porch, she needs money, fast. So she agrees to train apprentice exterminators in a reality TV show that makes Survivor look like a game of tag. But that's nothing compared to having to deal with crazy directors, bickering contestants and paparazzi. Can she keep her ratings up, her bills paid and her apprentices alive and still keep her sanity?
This book is so full of comedy, it’s hard to believe there’s room for anything else. No, really. Karina pokes fun at everything from the spy genre (zombie exterminators need a license to re-kill) to car manufacturers (government owned General Motors turns out cars like the Entitlement and the Deficit) and everything in between. Karina obviously relished using humor even in naming items and characters (the presidential candidate who mucks up the reality TV show ratings with his announcements is named Woody Forrest).
With all the hilarity and pure fun, you’d think there wouldn’t be much else, but you’d be wrong. Karina put enough thought into zombie extermination (what zombies actually are, what kills them permanently, what repels them) that you really can suspend disbelief and accept this world where the “shambling undead” have become a frightening menace. Beyond that, the plot really works. There’s lots of action (a huge zombie emergency call comes in just as Neeta and her team are about to film the season finale), plenty of drama, and even some romance. Even with the over-the-top director, Dave (“Are you getting chills? I’ve got chills.”) bypassing safety and decency for ratings, I was sucked into the show enough to keep turning pages just to find out who wins the million dollars on Zombie Death Extreme. But I won’t spoil the ending.
This is humor at its best. Yes, some of it is corny, but how could it not be? Some of the most scathing satire is so well done that it’s almost invisible. I wouldn’t even be surprised to learn I missed some of the jokes entirely because they were subtle. This is the brilliance. Karina doesn’t feel the need to knock you over the head with every little joke. She’s put out such a sumptuous buffet that she can afford for you to miss a delectable item or two.
If you’re ready to laugh, read Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator. If you’re not, perhaps you should check to see if you might BE a zombie in need of extermination.
Visit Karina's website, Fabianspace.
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