Tuesday 27 October 2015

Halloween Book Review: Once Upon A Zombie - Book One: The Color of Fear

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We were sent this book to a review as it is aimed at the 8-14 age group so fits in perfectly with my family. It combines fairy tales and zombies for an intriguing combination and an exciting story.

The heroine is 14 year old Caitlin Fletcher who is adjusting to life in London after moving from America with her father and younger sister. When you are scared of everything and prone to panic attacks then teenage life is hard to deal with. Especially when your new school is full of cliques and bullies.

Halloween is her birthday but also the school ball which brings back horrible memories of a dance at her previous school. She is trying to decide which would be worse 1) not going to the biggest social event of the year and being ridiculed or 2) going and suffering a panic attack and being ridiculed. Meanwhile her sister discovers chickpeas (garbanzo beans) on the window ledge of their 10th floor flat and finger prints on the inside of the window....

Caitlin is a reporter for Unexplainable News and she is keen to investigate after watching a video report about strange goings on at various cemeteries around the world. All of which include... chickpeas (garbanzo beans):

When they realise the connection to famous authors she arranges to travel to Guildford where the author Lewis Carroll is buried. Whilst there she and her sister are taken down a magical "rabbit hole" to the land where the stories come to life. However something is terrible wrong and she has to team up with a zombified group of fairy tale princesses such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella to save them from an evil spell.

My daughter decided early on that this book was too scary for bedtime reading! It certainly has some horrible monsters and blood thirsty zombies. Caitlin and the princesses face many dangers but also help from other recognisable fairy tale characters. Can they stop the Queen of Hearts in time before she unleashes the final spell and dooms the fairy tale characters to forever be zombies?

I read this book to myself first and couldn't put it down so read right to the end in one go I found it so gripping. There are plenty of heart in the mouth moments and close calls. If your tween/teen loves a little bit of horror then this could be a good book for them. Its certainly a great twist on the traditional fairy tales.

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