Ok, there are a lot of Zombie books, but have you ever read a YA zombie romance novel where zombies live underground and co-exist with fairies and travel through mirrors?
I just did.
This was another book I got while at the CT Horrorfest. And I spoke with the author Serendipity Bloom a little bit about why she wrote Flesh Cravers.
It boiled down to driving thing, she wanted to write a YA novel that she’d be excited for her niece to read. Because, as most of us admit, Twilight left a lot to be desired in her mind.
With that in mind, here’s my review:
by Serendipity Bloom
Genre: Paranormal YA
Cover Art: Serendipity Bloom
“Sophia, a natural born Flesh Craver, is a different kind of zombie.
She looks like an everyday normal human being, except for one thing. She must consume human flesh in order to keep her looks and youth.
Sophia works as a Recruiter for F.L.E.S.H. (Financial and Legal Experts of Shrieking Haven), a majickal underground corporation working towards harmonizing all realms to co-exist in peace.
We join Sophia on her journeys through some case files and recruit leads. [And along the way] we meet some charming, unique and grotesque characters- Faeries, Ogres, Angels and Scenters are just a few of the many we encounter.
We feel Sophia’s challenges as she embraces her life as a Flesh Craver, as well as her secret hopes to find love and one day be a part of the earthly realm to live a normal life.”
There is a lot to enjoy in this book.
The world is rich with social structures, jobs, and creatures of all types. I love that something as mundane as a missing sock can be tied to a closet troll. And that the logical dark-fetish side of zombies gets expressed though “Pleasers”.
It was fun to see the characters running about through Shrieking Haven and traveling into other dimensions. There was something exciting and unexpected around every corner. And some particularly thrilling moments in between.
We have a bit of the classic YA love triangle going on here.
Sophia’s in love with an Angel who disappeared on her. One of her co-workers (a fellow zombie) has the total “I’ll stalk -erm- I mean … love you to the end of existence” thing going on. And then there’s the new arrival in her life, the emo bad-boy type who’s totally trouble, but all she can think about.
This messy love dynamic was where I could most see Serendipity’s writing as a response to the classic YA romance archetype.
I think it was a bold choice, because it brings the story to a place you’ll hardly expect and might not be loved by every reader. But it certainly leaves you with a lot of good thoughts to ponder on.
I do wish that Sophia, as a character, had been a more proactive in her experience throughout the book, rather than being constantly swept away by events. But again, that’s more of a personal preference. The character was honest to herself and acted precisely the way a real person in her shoes might.
Sophia was a character that walked that fine line between being frustratingly foolish and flawed, yet relatable. And because of how well she walked it I was left with a lot of thoughts on the strength of using flawed protagonists in writing.
The best way to describe the flavor of this book is as a mix of the show Charmed and the Artemis Fowl series.
4.5 out of 5 stars. For those who enjoy a good fantasy adventure book with a smattering of zombie gore for flavor, this is a great choice to make.
Sink Your Teeth into Flesh Cravers
About the Author, Serendipity Bloom
“I have always had a wild imagination as far back as I can recall. At a very young age, I had this fascination with horror and wanted to read as much as I could. No matter how many books I ripped through, I just couldn’t get enough.
Along with my fascination of all things horror and supernatural, I yearned to write a book, or several.
Then life happened. School, job, bills – responsibilities slapped me in the face and reality struck. What TIME did I have to write? Who in the world can hold down a full time job and go home to WRITE? My brain was mush by the time I got home from work. It just didn’t seem possible, and my heart sank with unfulfilled hopes and dreams.
Until it happened. When I was faced with the possibility of losing my eyesight at a relatively young age, I vowed to myself I would push through. Not just for me you see, because now, I had a niece who at the time I came up with the concept of Flesh Cravers, wanted to pursue a career in Ghost Hunting (she was probably 6 years old). I had a new goal.
I wanted to write something for HER to read.
I never envisioned starting out with a Young Adult novel. After all, my mind is twisted and macabre to say the least. However, I couldn’t very well write something for my niece and tell her “you can’t read it until you’re 18”. Hence, the foundation of Flesh Cravers began emerging in my brain.
Hours upon hours of looking for how to get published was an ordeal on its own. I opted for self-publishing. Why? Well, my goal was not to be rich and famous as an author. My goal was to simply hold my creation in my hands. To smell the pages as I flipped through the novel that took almost two years to finalize. Self-publishing seemed the right fit.
My journey has just begun…”