The Zombie Protector, by Mae Johnsson
Hey guys, welcome back to Bookish Beyond.
Are you having a pleasant week?
Today, I’m excited to be reviewing The Zombie Protector, a young adult dystopian story by Mae Johnsson.
So, if you’ve got your favourite drink to hand and are all settled in, let’s begin.
Fourteen-year-old Ellie and her younger sister Ronnie are trying their best to survive a zombie apocalypse, however, Ronnie is a zombie herself. Now, Ellie is heading to the city of Plaus in search of a cure. However, when she finally gets there, with the aid of some new companions, something doesn’t feel quite right. The research laboratory there is surprisingly devoid of zombies, where months before they had swarmed the area.
A dire secret is soon discovered, one that could pose an additional problem in their already chaotic lives.
Can Ellie and her sister Ronnie survive the zombie apocalypse, together?
Of the characters specified within this book, four leading individuals stood out to me.
Ellie, the lead protagonist, is a smart and resourceful young girl, whose unique sense of humour shines through on every page. In addition, she is stubborn, persistently working toward any goal she sets her heart on, commanding a strong will which rivals many of the adult’s own wills in the book. She cares deeply about her sister Ronnie’s wellbeing, despite Ronnie having succumbed to the zombie infection that has spread throughout America. Overall, Ellie was a character that was easily likable, striving to achieve her goal to cure her sister, even when there seemed to be little hope left.
Ronnie, Ellie’s younger sister – now turned zombie – communicates in a series of human growls and appears to have retained some small measure of her humanity. She doesn’t attack humans, however, does attack other zombies if they threaten the safety or wellbeing of Ellie or anyone-else close to them. I found Ronnie to be a fascinating character simply because she is an example of the perfect paradox, a zombie who doesn’t crave human flesh.
Luke, Ellie and Ronnie’s first encountered companion, is an older, blind gentleman who uses his impeccable sense of hearing to aid him in fighting during the apocalypse. Luke proved himself to be a kind and especially helpful companion whose unwavering optimism, despite their difficult circumstances, becomes infectious. His general calm disposition, in addition to his more perceptive nature lent him a wise sense of being which had me quickly warming to him as an individual.
Finally, we come to Mr Ryden, the would-be antagonist of the story. Initially, Mr Ryden seemed somewhat suspicious as a character, as though he was hiding something of great importance from Ellie and her travelling companions. It is later revealed that he is a cruel and inhumane individual, who has committed unspeakable acts in the name of scientific advancement. He was – to put it simply – a terrible human being, whose transgressions caused Ellie and her companions much distress.
There were plenty of positive features of The Zombie Protector, which I have listed for you below:
- Firstly, the author narrates from Ellie’s first-person perspective, infusing her delightful sense of humour into every page. This had me laughing a lot and added a real feel-good vibe to every chapter, providing a gentle lightness to otherwise tense scenes.
- The characters were interesting enough, however, I feel that the author didn’t delve into their backstories too much. I personally would like to have known more about how Ellie and Ronnie ended up on the run in the zombie apocalypse.
- The writing style is simple, describing events succinctly, while making each scene both gripping and impactful. In addition, the author moved the story along at a steady pace, always progressing the plot.
While there were many positive aspects of the book, I do feel that the story itself could do with a thorough proofread to make the reading experience a bit smoother.
Overall, The Zombie Protector was a wonderfully witty survival story about a young girl, her zombie sister, and their new companions fighting to survive.
Themes included; survival, family, and camaraderie.
My Rating: 4 stars.
Recommended to: those who love humorous YA dystopian stories with easy to follow plots.
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