Book Review – Zombie-Saurus Rex by Mark Souza
Hi, everone, it’s Ken today, and I’m reviewing Zombie-saurus Rex, a YA paranormal book by Mark Souza. As you might guess, it’s got a zombie or two. There’s a Rafflecopter giveaway at the end, so be sure to check it out after the review. But first, let’s take a peek at the book blurb.
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Rex Morton, a seventeen year-old zombie, has arrived in the small farming town of Plain View, Nebraska; just another stop in a long string of small towns left behind in their rear view mirror. Unlike the zombie stereotype, Rex is bright and friendly – as long as he doesn’t get hungry. He hopes this time he can manage to stick around long enough to get his diploma.
Rex’s fiercely protective mother has strong armed yet another school district into accepting her son by threatening a discrimination lawsuit. At Plain View High, a dismal pattern of fear, prejudice, and bullying steers Rex down a familiar path toward expulsion. The difference this time is that Rex has fallen for fiery Goth girl, Ariella Klopenstein, the daughter of the Police Chief, and decided he will make his stand in Plain View.
As the Z-virus spreads west and the country panics, Rex and Ariella must find a way to overcome Rex’s mother who wants to break them apart and flee town, a school principal who wants Rex expelled, Ariella’s father, the Police Chief, who thinks Rex is dangerous, and a government zombie round-up aimed at solving the zombie problem once and for all.
Zombie-saurus Rex is a story about perseverance, overcoming prejudice, stereotypes and adversity. What it isn’t is a story about dinosaurs. The title is inspired by a nickname a school bully hangs on Rex due to his size, posture, and slow plodding gate.
Despite its name, this book has nothing to do with dinosaurs. It’s about a boy named Rex who’s just trying to finish high school and become an engineer. Unfortunately, he’s also a zombie. His mom has dragged him from school to school, trying to find one where he can fit in long enough to graduate. But the latest move has brought him to Plain View, where he meets a girl he likes, so when things begin to go south again, he decides he’s not going to move again.
When I started the book, I assumed it would be a typical YA story. Rex is 17, there’s romance involved, and he has to face the abuse of his classmates. Pretty standard fare for YA. But that’s where the resemblance ends. It’s a coming of age story, but it reads more like an adult book. The voice isn’t really YA and there are several POV characters besides Rex, each with their own agenda, including his best friend, his mom, and the general tasked with overseeing the roundup of zombies. Not that there’s anything wrong with this type of story. In fact, I’m sure I enjoyed it more because it was written this way. Just don’t expect the heavy, emotionally laden stories associated with YA these days.
What I liked most
: I enjoyed the different story lines, all of which came together at the end. Rex wasn’t melodramatic, even though he was in a situation that didn’t seem to have much of a happy future. And I liked the creative ways the author used Rex’s zombie abilities to solve problems.
What I didn’t like: The book ended rather abruptly, without tying up many of the loose ends. I’m not going to give away what happens, but it seems like there were just as many unanswered questions when the book ended as there were when it began. I also thought it was unrealistic in how readily the people who hated/feared Rex at the beginning came to accept him later for no apparent reason.
Still, it was a nice story about a good guy who fights to overcome what life has dealt him.
I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
About the Author:
Author Mark Souza has always been a storyteller, whether explaining who filched the ice cream, or what happened to the cat’s tail. He learned most of life’s lessons from the business end of a wooden spoon, and the rest from public schools spanning the breadth of North America, all of which were overjoyed to be rid of him. He became an author of short stories and novels in the horror, mystery, thriller, and young adult genres later in life, after time and a desk job had softened his edges, transforming him into the round, doughy shape Big-&-Not-So-Tall shops crave.
Mark was the proud recipient of the 2013 Indie Reader Award for Best Science Fiction for his debut novel Robyn’s Egg.
He now resides in Western Washington with his wife (also an author), two daughters, and their dog of questionable heritage, Tater. Visit his website; http://www.marksouza,com. There you’ll find a multitude of ways to make contact. Mark enjoys cordial correspondence and will write back. He’s always on the lookout for that next victim reader.
$50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)