Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: The Z Word by Bella Street

Title: The Z Word (Apocalypse Babes Book 1)
Author: Bella Street
Release Date: June 3, 2011
Publisher: Firefly Press
Category: Sci-Fi, YA, Romance
Type: Kindle


Book Blurb:

Book 1. It’s been said that a sure sign of the coming apocalypse is an 80s roller skate disco movie coming to DVD (with special features). In the science-fiction novel series Apocalypse Babes, a stylish group of twenty-something friends are torn from the Babylonian arms of 2006 West Hollywood and flung nearly thirty years into the past. It might be because one of them purchased the taboo film in a nostalgic moment, setting off a chain of events more disturbing than a roller skating conga line. They wake up in an apocalyptic but strangely familiar landscape, complete with a hidden mountain compound and retro survivalists, hinting at hidden and retro secrets they must face if they want to survive.

Book One of Apocalypse Babes, The Z Word, follows Seffy Carter and her longtime friends Gareth, Addison and Lani. The four besties share a past dysfunctional and dark enough to keep them bound together under do-over identities. But rends develop in their relationships from the flesh-eating pressures of ending up in 1980, in a Montana desert, surrounded by zombies wearing dated disco duds.

Book Excerpt:

One shuffled ever so slightly to the right. Others followed. For some a half-step, for others, a leaning to one side. Seffy saw them all seem to shift to the left. Then back to the right. In time. To the beat of Lani's song.

No way.

“What the—” Gareth cut Malone off. “Unbelievable!”

“Are they dancing?” Trent asked in raw disbelief.

“I think so,” Addy said, her voice tinged with awe. “Lani, looks like you have a super power after all!”

“Are they doing the Hustle?” Gareth whispered, suddenly by her side. Seffy glanced up at him, her mind reeling. “Who cares as long as they're not doing the Eat Us!”

The dancers began clumsily shaking their booties, what parts were left anyway.

All people steppin' along the boulevard
All people shakin' with the rhythm
Everyone'll be heated up in the land of the free.”

Gareth joined in. “Chicago, Allentown, San Diego.”

You all just join up with us,” sang Lani, beginning to smile.
All of us are gonna party in Paris tonight.”

Addison began singing the list of countries they'd all be partying in. Seffy couldn't bring herself to sing. She was too busy watching reanimated dancers doing a semblance of a disco shuffle in the sand.

All around this planet, they all got the message
They all heard the shout out
There's a spot where all can assemble
We'll all have a blast
We'll all glow until dawn.”

Addison and Gareth joined in for the chorus, while the others looked on in deepening stupefication. The song hit a crescendo and warbled to a stop.

“Well, that was unexpected,” Trent said in the ensuing silence.

Lani beamed. “It's not a super power, just the power of music.”

Dialogue Highlights:

Seffy looked around in wonder, amazed such a lame song had saved their lives. But the dancers began looking around too, getting restless and beginning to emit moans of what sounded like disappointment.

“Uh, oh,” Gareth said, raising his rifle. “Anyone know the words to Funkytown?”


“I feel like Wesley. You know in Princess Bride? When he was mostly dead? Gareth made me watch it this one time. He's kind of a nerd, but don't tell anyone.”

She saw the two silver-encased heads look toward each other before pointing straight ahead. She leaned her head way back. “Hey, Gareth! I'm talking about Princess Bride in public! I'm being culturally relevant!”

“Just hang on, miss. We're almost there.”

“Whooo, we're going fast!” Windows and doors and painted block walls went past in a blur. “I feel dizzy.”

“We know. Okay, a little bump.”

Seffy had the distinct impression she was in an elevator. The silvery walls reflected her silvery support system. Then the floor dropped. “Whoa!”

“Just hang on, miss.”

She flopped her head toward one of the men. “How do you know I'm a miss? I could be married. Or maybe I'm British and served my Queen through my many acting exploits and was conferred a Dame status.”

“Are you married?”


“Are you a Dame?”

“Nope.” She sputtered into laughter.

The ground felt solid again and they started moving horizontally. A white room with glass. Another man loomed in a silver suit...poised with a large hypodermic needle.

Well, that's gonna leave a mark.


***SPOILERS*** So I downloaded this book while it was free on Amazon because Z stand for Zombie. I have many friends into zombies and the apocalypse and so forth. Initially I wasn’t really into the whole zombie/end of the world thing. I never really got it. I probably still don’t really get most of it. But then I got into shows like The Walking Dead and started reading zombie and/or apocalypse stories and I was hooked. I mean who wouldn’t want to read about the nasty undead with necrosis and slime and bleck-type stuff all over them that eat people and walk around as if in a trance? Right? And that is just the beginning! But I do not know how to classify this book in genre. It’s like YA certainly tame enough for it), sci-fi (yeah – the zombies), romance (sort of but not really), fantasy ( kind of because the girls live in their own fantasy of what life is all about prior to the – err, end of the world), contemporary (despite the 70s/80s references) – basically it is a clusterpluck of a whole lotta genres with nothing specific.

So ……. I read The Z Word to try and experience more of life after the end. At first I was completely lost. Seffy wants Gareth and Gareth has Verity and Verity and Seffy hate each other but fake like they’re friends on the outside and then BOOM! The world is like, gone, I guess. Seffy remains, Gareth remains, Verity is no where to be found, and a couple others end up joining up with them that they know. They spend the night in an old abandoned car and wake up to a zombie intent on killing them. But things are not adding up. First, they have no idea where they ended up after the end of the world. They don’t even know it is the end of the world. Then there is the obvious – there are zombies, HELLO! And these are not your normal Zombies. They are all dressed from the seventies; paisley shirts, bell bottoms, platform shoes, etc. And somewhere along the way they discover that these flesh eaters love to dance to music that matches their era of dress. And in fact, it is the only way to side track the undead.

Eventually they meet up with this other group of kids who, in some odd way, kind of resemble their group. Seffy ends up getting it on with this guy from the group who reminds her of Gareth. Turns out he’s been infected by the zombies and through his contact with Seffy, he infects her too. Then everyone wants to kill Seffy, afraid she will turn into a zombie and infect them all. But Seffy apparently has some sort of awesomesauce immunity to the zombie virus because she doesn’t turn. And during this time, some whackado named Malone has given them shelter, food, and information about the surrounding area – kind of. It’s information, but it’s not information. You know? So dude dies, Seffy doesn’t, and both groups travel with Malone to another supposed safe house. But it is not what is seems and they all end up with another guy named Popov. He takes them to a compound which is also not as it seems.

And in the midst of all of this is the Gareth/Seffy romance/non-romance thing going on. I really have no idea what the heck the dealis with them. Seffy wants him, but knows he is with Verity – or was. Gareth says he cares for Verity and that he cares about Seffy, but not the same way. Then he goes all jealous-mode when she hooks up with the infected guy. It is just a jumble of craziness. Oh! And despite Gareth’s “guy you’d love to be seen with” exterior, dud is one heck of a sci-fi buff.

I am still not entirely sure the purpose of some of the characters in the story. Though the series is called Apocalypse Babes, so perhaps they will play a role later on down the road. They are all pretty much self-centered, shallow brats that think the outerwear and lifestyle (or fa├žade) make the person. And at odd times each demonstrates a moment of intelligence. Mind you I said moment. And that could well be stretching it. The craziest of it all was when the book ended, which is a craptastic cliffhanger, I wanted to read the next book. I have no idea why. I just need to know what happens next. What does that even mean? Am I losing my mind? Or is Ms. Street more brilliant than I originally gave her credit? I really don’t know at this point. My only next option is to read book 2 and see what I think after that one. Everything must have been set up the way it was for a reason – perhaps the answers I seek will be addressed in the next installment. So I am on the fence. I think I might be hooked in a sadistic kind of way, but I kind of hated the lack of information provided and the city girl trendy attitudes. UGH! I am going with a rating of 2 for now because my feelings are as much of a jumble of craziness as this book was.

(Digital book purchased for personal library)

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