Reviewed by Donna
TITLE: Creature Comfort
AUTHOR: Rob Rosen
PUBLISHER: Fierce Publishing
LENGTH: 238 Pages
Three hundred years into the apocalypse, centuries-old zombie queen, Creature Comfort, and the love of her afterlife, Dara Licked, leave their salt factory in Utah and find themselves beneath a gussied-up Lady Liberty, surrounded by a race of fabulous drag queens. Humanity (what’s left of it) is in dire trouble, attacked by unseen menacing forces, and only Creature can possibly save the day! Thus starts this hilarious tale of mystery and heart-pounding adventure, of friends old and new, of what it means to be alive and, most importantly, in love.
Last year, for some unknown reason, I agreed to read what sounded like one of the most ridiculous books I’d ever read the blurb for. Once I received a copy it sat there on my iPad, ignored, for as long as I could get away with, until I ran out of time (blog schedule) and just had to read it. That book was Queens of the Apocalypse, and you can find my review of it HERE. And when Love Bytes posted our Favourite Books of 2014, that book was at the very top of my list.
Creature Comfort (the book, not the zombie) is the sequel to Queens of the Apocalypse and while it could be read as a standalone I’d definitely recommend against it. While the end of the world was explained at the beginning of this book and we find out how the few pockets of humans still survive, what is, out of necessity, explained in just a few pages, was explored and examined in a whole other book. One of the funniest bloody books I’ve ever read. I just think a lot of what I cared about in this book wouldn’t have been so important to me without having first read Queens of the Apocalypse.
Creature Comfort (the zombie, not the book) is the Queen of the zombies and she rules from an old salt factory in Utah. She’s one of only a few zombies who are actually cognizant and they live behind a giant fence where she can keep her few human minions safe from the rest of the brain eating zombie horde. She knows that it’s possible there are other humans out there, her human friends from the first book were headed to New York, but after 300 years of no contact with humans she never expects that one day they’ll simply land a plane in her factory carpark. She definitely doesn’t expect to meet Ginger, VaVa Voom and Aflo Sheen who need Creature and her fellow zombie drag queen lover, Dara Licked, to accompany them back to New York.
I think that what they discover when they arrive in New York might be my favourite part of the whole book. Because beneath a glammed up Statue of Liberty, on a pontoon city that stretches out to Ellis Island, live the Libetians. The Libetians have spent the last three hundred years worshipping the memory of the three drag queens who were the main characters of the first book. To the extent that every man, woman and child in the city dress in drag each day. As Topaz, the head priestess explains – “I do not know of the old ways, of what life was like before the goddesses. That life didn’t seem to work anymore, not in this place. It’s not taught, never spoken of. All I know is what you see today: fabulousness.”
But beneath the sequins and feathers of the city, something sinister is afoot, and Creature and Dara are going to have to utilize all of Creature’s queenly powers in order to help the vulnerable humans.
This book wasn’t what I was expecting at all. To me, it had a completely different feel to the first story. It’s written in first person from Creature’s point of view, so we still get the snarky commentary and the bitchy banter. She’s a three hundred year old drag queen who has the power to command legions of followers (even if they are all zombies). Understandably, she has a lot of great one-liners just waiting to be used. But the first book felt a lot lighter, if the end of the world can be described that way. There was much more hilarity compared to the sense of mystery in this one. That’s not a complaint, by the way, just an observation.
My only complaint is that this book kind of ruined the first book for me. See, I know that Destiny, Blondella and Kit (from the first book) are going to be dead. It’s three hundred years later, and they were humans. They were living out their HEAs in New York with their men, and I was happy to leave their story at that. I don’t want to know exactly how they died because each time I go back and read Queens of the Apocalypse now, I’m going to know how it ends for them. And I freakin’ cried! Yes, I actually cried reading a comedic zombie story. But – am I still recommending you read both Queens of the Apocalypse and Creature Comfort. Hell yes! Don’t mind me, I cry all the time.
You know what, I forgot to mention the romance! Because zombies deserve love too, and what is a queen without a consort? Throughout the “who’s the bad guy?” mystery and during Creature’s quest to help the humans was Creature and Dara’s love story. And despite the fact that zombies are rather limited in the emotions department, the author did a brilliant job of showing the love between these two. Actually, not only between the MCs but also between zombies Ricky Shea and his wife Lola (who was a showgirl). But can zombies even have sex, you may ask. Well, they need to enjoy their afterlife somehow.
I didn’t eat or drink or sleep, but there was just enough human left inside of me to enjoy life, for lack of a better word. To rephrase all that, Creature Comfort, zombie drag queen, could still pop one serious boner. And when radiation is powering your turgid tool instead of blood (mine being quite stagnant), then watch out, because if you think Three Mile Island blew her stack, you ain’t never seen a long dead zombie do the same.
Honestly, you just need to read these books.