The zombie apocalypse meets reality TV.
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Zombie Death Extreme
By the 2040s, the shambling dead have become an international problem. While governments and special interest groups vie for the most environmentally-friendly way to rid the world of zombies, a new breed of exterminator has risen: The Zombie Exterminator.
When zombie exterminator Neeta Lyffe gets sued because a zombie she set afire stumbles onto a lawyer's back porch, she needs money fast. So she agrees to train apprentice exterminators in a reality TV show that makes Survivor look like a child's tag game. But that's nothing compared to having to deal with crazy directors, bickering contestants and paparazzi. Can she keep her ratings up, her bills paid and her apprentices alive and still keep her sanity?
The workout room had a weights set and an elliptical in one corner, but Neeta ignored them. She needed more vigorous exercise than that if she wanted to burn off her emotional funk.
None of the plebes had done the routine she'd just set for herself. It didn't really reflect the reality of zombie movements, either. Although the crew had designed the targets to look much like actual undead, they moved too quickly, changed direction too suddenly, lunged and retreated in ways zombies couldn't imitate. They zigged and zaggged, dropped from the ceiling to zoom back up, flung themselves from the ground to trip the unwary. For once, this wasn't about training.
Neeta steeled herself, found an opening and dove in with a roar. She swung high, tagging the first zombie with the edge of her blade just as it got within her reach.
This was about reflexes,
She jumped over the arm that sprung up in front of her, doing the splits as she brought down her chainsaw to slice the hand off at the wrist.
…about burning aggression,
She spun a full circle, moving the saw in a sine wave. She took one target out at the knees, sliced another sideways across the chest, beheaded a third.
…about moving beyond thought and planning and negotiations with writers and directors and people who cared more for ratings than lives,
She lunged, spun, kicked and swung, her battle cries a perfect accompaniment to the pounding music.
A buzzer sounded, and the lights brightened and steadied. The targets stopped their frenetic motions and presented themselves for her to examine. She dropped the saw where she stood and braced her hands against her knees to catch her breath. Her arms felt like lead. A good feeling. She moved among the grimacing targets, noting the strikes that would have severed limbs, the ones that would have beheaded... When she came to the long-haired one with the pot belly, she gave a feral grin.
She's landed the blade in perfect position to slice Dave's manic smile right off his face.
Neeta is to Zombies What Buffy is to Vampires
By Nicole Langan, http://www.examiner.com/book-in-scranton/book-review-neeta-lyffe-zombie-exterminator-by-karina-fabian-review
Not since the glory days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a female killer of the undead burst onto the scene. Karina Fabian's Neeta Lyffe: Zombie Exterminator is a chainsaw-wielding heroine who's not afraid to kick some major paranormal ass. Whether she is dousing putrefied reanimated corpses with industrial-strength cleaning supplies or lighting them on fire, she's not one to run the other way when confronted with the walking dead. Instead much like her day job of eliminating rats and fleas, she exterminates zombies who threaten to spread their disease by sinking their teeth into living human flesh. The only way to stop them is by severing the spinal cord, namely decapitation.
This gruesome work is so in demand by the year 2040 that Neeta is the star of her own reality show. Her mission is to train seven recruits through the staged trials of exterminator certification. Right out of the gate, the book opens with the death of one of her plebes, surfer-dude Bergie. This life-imitating-art form of entertainment is so full of sensationalism that his death is seen in living rooms across the country. Neeta knows she has made a deal with the devil - namely the show's producer, Gary - in attaching herself to such a project. However, faced with a lawsuit for burning down a property in order to save a group of people from a zombie attack, her monetary needs outweigh her moral objections.
Fabian shines in her ability to create believable supporting characters. Each participant on the show has a distinctive personality full of their own idiosyncrasies and quirks. It is a difficult enough for an author to mold a strong, multi-faceted protagonist, but Fabian succeeds in bringing an extensive cast to life as authentic individuals, not cliched stereotypes. Fashioning scenes of dialogue with eight people requires a skilled writer, and Fabian delivers with clear, precise conversations. The reasons behind the recruits' personal motivations are given just enough background information to make their actions understandable for the reader. Standouts include shy - to the point of stammering - Spud and attention-seeking, publicity hound Roscoe.
With zombie fever raging across America with the phenomenon of AMC's Walking Dead, lovers of the genre will certainly enjoy Fabian's spin on things. While staying true to the story's horror/sci-fi theme, she also introduces a great deal of humor into the narrative. For example, the zombism outbreak originated with the unpredictable nature of the 2009 swine flu vaccine. Since then bodies have been digging themselves out of the grave traumatizing the living, mostly by barging into their homes and monopolizing their TV sets. Fabian also introduces a love triangle for Neeta involving Ted, the cameraman and Brian, the big name Hollywood radio personality. Its resolution definitely leaves the door open to the possibility of a sequel.
Overall, Neeta is to zombies what Buffy is to vampires.
Funniest. Zombies. EVER!
http://yougottareadreviews.blogspot.com/2011/03/review-neeta-lyffe-zombie-exterminator.html, Cassie WhisperingCrow, You Gotta Read Book reviews
When the Zombie Apocolypse finally falls upon us, how does America respond? With a Reality TV show, of course.
But fear not, for they are the
I laughed so hard I cried at times. Of course, the only way to kill a zombie is to lop off its head, but that doesn't mean they can't be distracted. How does one distract a zombie on its endless quest for succulent living flesh? Romance novels, classic cars, and political cartoons are a good start.
On the technical side, this story is written, at least in part, in a journal style - with a modern twist. The story includes forum posts, cast blogs, and vblogs. All of these fill out the characters and make then each different and very amusing to watch as they progress through the trials of learning to slay that which was once human and dealing with the camera as well. Unfortunately, this style does not lend itself to description, and when the narrative is taken up by a more traditional third person narrator, this lack of description continues. I have no idea what most of these characters look like.
Overall, a wonderful story with just a hint of technical problems. I highly recommend it to everyone.
A Funny, Witty Tale
http://kbaccellia.livejournal.com/404942.html Kim Baccellia
Every now and then I like to read outside YA. I first read about Neeta Lyffe in The Zombie Cookbook, a collection of zombie tales. I really loved the tongue in cheek satire of this character and even told Kim Richards, the publisher of Damnation Books, that she should get Karina to write more. Well, she did!
During the 2040s zombies are both a national and international problem. The world is now more worried about being PC and not offending anything and that includes the undead. Neeta Lyffe is a zombie exterminator, someone who tries to take care of the problem. But when she gets sued because a zombie she set afire stumbles onto a lawyer's back porch, she needs money. Fast.
Zombie Death Extreme is a reality show where she fights zombies along with her plebs. The winner of the show wins one million dollars. Then all heck breaks loose when they eat Eidelberg, a former surfer dude. What happens next is a fast-paced romp where the zombie apocalypse meets reality TV, California politics and the Green movement!
I laughed throughout this! Neeta is hilarious. Karina does a great job with her little inside jokes like how the Network is thinking of marketing a Neeta Exterminator Barbie complete with a chainsaw. Seems the whole world has gone PC too which makes it tough for Neeta to do her job. A zombie exterminator has to be credentialed and be careful not to offend. Neeta scoffs at all the rules and just wants to do her job!
Fast-paced, the jokes continue to fly. Some of my favorites have to include America's Funniest Extreme Home Videos, the Danger Edition where some guys try to outrun some zombies. And the Mythbusters 2030 team works with ZERD to dispel that age old myth: Are brains a zombie culinary delicacy?
Current Pop culture references are throughout this story. Karina takes them and twists them into a wickedly funny tale. The references to how the H1N1 virus might have started the whole zombie fest kind of makes me hesitant to get my own flu shot.
One thing that did slow me down was some of the journal entries at the end of the chapters. I also wanted to see more of the filming of the Reality show though the climax does involve a scene where hundreds of zombies convey on a Southern Californian freeway. And commuters thought the ride was bad enough!
Neeta does what Buffy did with vampires! A funny, witty tale.
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