Friday, June 3, 2011

Review - Robin Hood vs The Plague Undead

The Eulogy (From the Publisher): 
 His lungs were gone. He was completely hollow inside. But he was not dead. Not quite. What happens when Robin Hood and his Merry Men are faced with a plague of zombies? Somehow, Robin must figure out a way to defeat the most difficult and dangerous enemy he's ever faced, and save the country from destruction...

The Epitaph (In a Nutshell): A fantastic idea for a mash-up with some standout characters and some of the grossest gore scenes I've read... which is a very good thing!

Dearly Departed, 
We are gathered here today to discuss Robin Hood vs The Plague Undead by James Black.  I know I shouldn't judge books by their cover, but sometimes when I do I am rather pleasantly surprised. I was very guilty of underestimating this book because I felt like the title and cover art placed it in that mass-produced, throwaway category (although I reckon that 11 year olds will love it, and I fear I'm being a bit of a book snob). WELL! I enjoyed Robin Hood vs the Plague Undead heartily. I really do enjoy a good mashup, and since I love both Robin Hood and zombies, I knew this book was going to be for me. 

The writing was top-notch too, let down only by some editing problems where bits of text were inserted in wrong spots that sometimes made for confusing reading. Some of the gore scenes had me wincing, which is SUCH a good sign because it takes a lot to gross me out. While I did love the portrayals of Robin and his Merry Men, the character who really captured my heart was Mother Maudlin. I hadn't realised she was an actual character in the Robin Hood mythos, and I'm not sure how accurate her portrayal is here, but who cares? She's brilliant! From the pus-dripping pentacle carved into her forehead to her unwholesome beauty, I thought she was really well described and made for an excellent villain to our band of familiar heroes. The only small complaint I have is (WARNING: spoiler ahead, highlight to read) the somewhat happy ending - I really wanted to see a zombie Robin Hood, and I felt it all got wrapped up a bit too neatly. Still, I'm eagerly awaiting the next in this series, Blackbeard's Pirates vs the Evil Mummies.


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