Format: E-Galley, 352 pages
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young Adult / Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
Fans of Downton Abbey or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will love this campy mash-up of historical and paranormal genres by bestselling author Lauren Baratz-Logsted.
For as long as the pastoral village of Porthampton has existed, everyone has known his or her place. There’s upstairs, downstairs, and then there are the villagers who tend the farms. But when a farmer is killed in a brutal and most unusual fashion, and then more deaths rapidly follow, it soon becomes apparent that all three groups will have to do the unthinkable: work together, side by side, if they want to survive the menace. Even the three teenage daughters of Lord Martin Clarke, who previously thought the greatest threat to their way of life was in the form of an entail, must do the unthinkable and work with the farmers to take down the zombie horde. Lady Kate, paired with the handsome stable boy Will Harvey, discovers that if they don’t work together, their ancestral home of Porthampton Abbey just might turn into Zombie Abbey.
Lauren Baratz-Logsted's Zombie Abbey is a mash-up of Downton Abbey, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, and The Walking Dead. Paranormal & historical mash-ups seem to be on the rise with people wanting to escape for a few hours and enjoy the curiosity of English society. Set in 1920 England, the story is pure escapism mixed with a bit of horror. The story is told via three sisters who are the daughters of the Earl of Post Hampton: Lady Katherine (17), the entitled eldest who is being groomed to marry. She arrogant, Spoiled. She loves hunting, but she treats everyone like step stools, including her sisters.
Lady Grace (16) is lost in the middle and wishing she were braver. She is the complete opposite of Kate in almost every way. One could say that Grace is the pleasant surprise of the story for her actions later on in the book. But, don't ignore the youngest Lady Lizzy (15) who is endlessly sunny, & easy to underestimate and belittle because the youngest are supposed to be seen, and not heard from. Lizzy is a whole lot better of a person and a character than Kate by a wide margin.
There are others, of course. Those like Will Harvey, Daniel Murray, Raymond Allen, and Fanny Rogers, who represents the Downton cast in this novel & the most enjoyable character in this entire story. It is a time of healing from World War I. It is a time where women weren't able yet to own any land or property or have a say in their own lives. For the sake of this story, the author introduces you to the practice of Entails: Entails ensure that only mail heirs can inherit a property, or the eldest must marry a suitor.
With her father throwing a party and asking his eldest to meet with several suitors at a time, anything can and will happen. This story, in my humble opinion, suffers from the dreaded too many irons in the pot syndrome. If the author had just focused on maybe the sisters, it wouldn't have been so overwhelming. Plus, the ending leaves so many unanswered questions. Like, will there be a sequel? Who will survive the zombie apocalypse? Will anyone live to have their HEA, or will the author go on a bloody tear? For those reasons, my rating is a firm 3 stars.