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Khanh the Killjoy

A little bite

Flotsam & Jetsam:An Original Forest of Hands and Teeth Story - Carrie Ryan

I need my zombie fix.

I started watching The Walking Dead (years behind, I know), and ended up being so obsessed with it that I watched all 3 seasons in a matter of weeks, and now am almost caught up to the TV show. Seriously, I'm kind of freaking out right now. I mean, in 2 more episodes, I'm actually going to have to wait week after week to see how the show progresses instead of binge-watching it into the wee hours of the morning and going through my day like a less-hyper version of said zombies on the show.

Needless to say, I need my fix, so when I saw this short (and free story by an author whose zombie books I've enjoyed, I jumped on it!.

Well, it's not what I expected. It was well written, because Carrie Ryan is an excellent writer, no doubt about that, but this short story didn't deliver my zombie fix.

The setting was a cruise, but that was in the past, and we're on a lifeboat, with two survivors. It is inferred that a zombie outbreak broke out on a cruise ship, a lot of people have died, and there are a lot of lifeboats floating around with survivors waiting to be rescued. There are two people on the lifeboat. One is a guy (Jeremy), the other is the narrator, and maybe I missed something, but I have no idea what gender the narrator is. They could be a lesbian female, it could be another guy, the narrator is so gender-neutral that I couldn't be sure. There's a hint based on stories they tell each other, and I think the narrator kissed someone named Jenny Lyons, but again, I can't be sure. It's not a problem, but man, I hate ambiguity. I just want a definite answer, because I'm impatient like that.

The story is very much introspective. Jeremy gives us his thoughts on the infection, his fears, his knowledge that Jeremy has been bitten, and we see his actions as he struggles from thirst, hunger, and his fear of death and his fear of being alone. There is some zombie action, but I just wanted some zombie excitement, and I didn't get it.

Again, this is just my personal taste. I like fast, scary, mobs and mobs of zombie.

In my copy of the short story, there is an introduction by the author, saying that she wanted to introduce this story as a scenario on what two people who promised to kill each other would do if one gets infected. She says that a killing promise is easier said than done, and this story definitely demonstrates it. However, as I said, I couldn't quite understand the narrator's actions.

Because if there's something I've learned from The Walking Dead, it's that you have to kill an infected person, no matter how beloved, no matter how hard. But Carrie Ryan wants us to see that it's a harder decision to make when we're actually in that situation. In that sense, it works.

It's a desperate scenario, knowing what we know of Carrie Ryan's other books. This IS the zombie apocalypse. There's no escaping it. We know that those on land are doomed, and for the narrator stuck on a boat with his dying friend, there is almost no chance of survival. But there's always hope, beyond that, there's always a quick way out, and the ending made me shake my Nook in frustration.