“Sometimes you have to do something ugly so that something beautiful can grow.” ― Cedric Nye
Ah, Christmastime, that time of year when we all settle in for our long winter’s naps, with visions of sugarplums dancing in our wee little heads. Unless you have zombies hunting you down and trying to chew through your skull to get to your tasty center. Then all you’re likely to think about at that point is trying to keep your noggin off the brain buffet. Ew. Piper Vaughn is deliciously wicked.
Zombie Wonderland ain’t your typical twinkling fairy lights, warm glow of the Yule log burning in the hearth, let’s have cocoa and marshmallows and fa-la-la-la-la through our holly decked halls sort of holiday story. Oh no… this is Christmas creep with a side of adrenaline action; it’s survival of the most desperate, and then, just when you think you can’t take any more of the fear that’s coursing through your imagination, it all winds down into the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Emory and Ross, two men who’d never really gotten past the eye-contact stage with each other, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t something unspoken growing between them before the chorus of “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” became the new national anthem.
I’m always on the lookout for something different, and this is very much that, different but reliable Piper Vaughn, and if you don’t know what that means, I’ll sum it up: In her work, I always find two characters I grow to love very quickly, not always in an “I know them so well” way, but always in an “I so want them to work” sort of way, which can be just as satisfying. Emory and Ross work for me, not because they had the chance to meet and talk and form a bond in the usual way with each other, but in an actions-speak-louder-than-words way, which, when it comes right down to it, can be excessively romantic. When a man is willing to risk getting eaten by the walking dead to come for you, when he could have very easily saved himself and left you behind, that’s a till-death-do-you-part kinda guy, and that’s the kinda guy Emory gets to keep. And that’s the sort of reading that puts a smile on my face, even as I’m squicking at all the sublime horror therein.
Let’s just hope the death/part thing comes way after someone finds the cure for the zombie apocalypse.
And make sure to stop by tomorrow for a chance to win the book in Piper’s Backlist Book Bump giveaway!