AUTHOR: Billy Phillips & Jenny Nissenson
PUBLISHER: The Toon Studio Press
PUBLISHING DATE: October 1, 2015
FROM GOODREADS: Unexplainablenews.com is reporting strange phenomena in cemeteries in Scotland, Germany, Italy, and America. Only one individual knows what's happening - and why! This person also knows the one girl who can prevent an unspeakable and imminent catastrophe from taking place. But will she? When Caitlin Fletcher's mom disappeared (or left?) four years ago, Caitlin began suffering from breathless bouts of anxiety. Her new move to London, with her Dad and her brainiac sister, threatens to lead to more situations that will trigger panic. Now, she's having anxiety over the possibility of having anxiety! Caitlin's life takes a turn for the bizarre when she's tricked into climbing down a "rabbit hole", landing in a wondrous fairy tale universe - except it's crawling with savage, starving blood-eyed zombies. But what's scarier - a blood thirsty zombie, a panic attack....or the painful truth?!
MY THOUGHTS: In order to write this review, I really had to think about it for a few days. I think it is important to say that I am not the target audience for this book. I believe it is aimed at young adults or middle graders. So when rating it, I tried to look at it from that perspective.
Let me say I would have loved this type of book when I was younger. I am probably dating myself, but I have no recollection of young adult or middle grade books when I was that age. Of course, I was also reading Anne Rice and Stephen King when I was in the 6th grade, so maybe I wasn't the average middle grader. I would have devoured this book at that age, and came close to doing the same even now.
Once Upon A Zombie tells the tale of Caitlyn and her younger sister Natalie. They have recently moved to London and live with their father. All that is really known of their mother is that she disappeared several years ago. Caitlyn has all kinds of problems. She is a loner at school and suffers from severe anxiety. She has all kinds of worries and fears which make her an unlikely option for saving an alternative universe...or does it? Along the way, the two girls encounter a gang of misfit zombies who consist of Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Let me tell you, Zombie Disney Princesses is a genius concept. Totally my kind of Disneyland.
This book not only tells a wonderful tale, but also speaks to teen bullying, overcoming fear and anxiety, and expressing one's individuality. Natalie is a brainiac and is quite easily my favorite character. She is witty, snarky and smart as a tack and I really hope she is in the future installments. I enjoyed this book and believe it offers something to readers of all ages. If you like books which are unique and imaginative, then you should definitely give this one a chance.
RATING: 4 PAWS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Billy Phillips is the President and CEO of Toon Studio Licensing, an intellectual property licensing business. He is a writer, creative director and producer, and has ghost written over 15 non-fiction books. He has lectured on the subject of spirituality and science around the world, including at NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Goddard Space Flight Center. He is the father of four and resides in California with his wife.
Once Upon A Zombie, the first in a series, is one of the first times all of the major fairy tale characters and kingdoms have merged into one book narrative. In addition, the book shows that the Zombie princesses, who despite their undead state, remain hauntingly beautiful thanks to the compassion in their hearts.