Reviewed by Donna
AUTHOR: Rob Rosen
PUBLISHER: Wilde City Press
LENGTH: 76,000 Words
Take three fierce drag queens, plus their undead drag sister, a massive solar flare, and a few billion hungry zombies, toss in the remnants of the U.S. Army and a hysterically funny, frequently-poignant cross-country trip, add a spicy dash of sizzling romance and a helping of mystery and suspense, and what you wind up with is the deliciously campy Queens of the Apocalypse.
Yesterday, as I was sitting outside my daughter’s dance class, a fellow waiting mother leaned over and asked me what I was reading. To be honest, I was hoping she would, she asks me most Wednesdays, possibly because she’s nosy or maybe she’s just trying to be friendly but seriously, I don’t want to be friends with someone who doesn’t understand the sanctity of childfree reading time. Shhhh, please! Well anyway, she did it, she leaned over (because some people seem to think they need to lean to be heard) and asked me what I was reading. So I book marked my page, brought up the cover so she could see the picture and announced I was reading about “gun toting, zombie killing drag queens”. Not sure if it was the zombies, the drag queens or the combination of both but she just got a really awkward look on her face like she had no idea how to reply to that. Which was sort of the response I was going for. It’s one of my major character flaws, I’m afraid. When it comes to non-m/m readers I feel a sense of superiority because I’m part of this most amazing group of book loving people and they’re missing out. I know, that’s not a good attitude to have, it’s probably covered by one of the seven deadly sins but hey, we all have faults. And it’s books like this that bring out my smugness. Oh, you don’t read m/m? Too bad, so sad cause you are missing out on one of the most inappropriate, goddamned hilarious, bitchy, snarky, sarcastic, innuendo laden books I’ve ever come across. That’s what I think when talking to the “non readers”. To my fellow readers, well those of you reading this review anyway, I say – congratulations, you have to opportunity to read one of the most inappropriate, goddamned hilarious, bitchy, snarky, sarcastic, innuendo laden books I’ve ever come across.
I hardly know where to begin. To say this book made me laugh just doesn’t even come close to covering it.
Maybe I’ll just start with the end of the world and take it from there.
Ok so it wasn’t really the end of the world, but close enough that I can get away with the dramatics. Destiny, Blondella and Kit, three of the most fabulous main characters I’ve ever come across are safely tucked away in their steal encased change room when the earth begins to tremble. When they emerge minutes later it’s to discover the street filled with bodies. As far as they can tell, everybody else is dead. If only they had stayed that way.
What ensues can probably be described as the most unique road trip story I have ever read as these ladies make their way from one coast to the other in search of answers, love and liquor. Along the way their merry band expands as they collect fellow survivors and even non-survivors while always finding the time to fix their nails between re-killing zombies.
So now, to recap, we had a bloody zombie, three drag queens, two of them in Bob Mackie gowns, one handsome undertaker driver, and just over a dozen and a half screaming people veering through the desert with the military maybe or maybe not following them- in Cher’s bus, with Nixon overseeing it all. Not exactly how I figured the end of the world to be, global warming excepted.
The plot twists in this story were actually extremely well thought through and executed. I totally expected the humor to carry the story and it probably would have succeeded too but the way it played out added much more depth to what might have been just a comedy. To be honest when I began reading, the bitchy banter was so thick I was worried it would become too much as the story went on but somehow it didn’t. Maybe because there was more plot to distract me from it (it ended up being very “Tomorrow When the War Began”) or maybe because bitchy banter and sarcastic quips are mothers milk to my own less than humble nature. Whatever it was, this book is my brand of crack. (I’m sure there’s a smutty joke lurking in that last sentence but I’m drawing a blank.)
Did I have any complaints? No, but there was one thing that bugged me. Where were all the zombie animals?
I realize I’ve rated a few books five stars recently, please don’t think I’m easy. I like to think I’m just getting better at picking them. But seriously, this book deserves every star. Yeah, it’s a zombie tale but it’s more than that. It’s about accepting people for who they are, it’s about yourself for who you are and it’s about the fiercely aweeeesome ladies who are drag queens. And that’s aweeeesome with a couple of extra vowels in the middle.