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Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite
“Gravely Inanimated” by Esther Wheelmaker is Book 1 in 'The ZombiePunk Series' and it will have you anxiously awaiting the completion of Book 2. The debut work of the obviously very talented Ms. Wheelmaker, “Gravely Inanimated”, is an outstanding introduction to what she is capable of producing. Within this book she has created an authentic city, populated with authentic people, living authentic lives. The word-pictures she painted made the story come alive in my mind, and it was really quite a remarkable “mental video” that I experienced. Throughout this book Ms. Wheelmaker never once inserted a scene that didn’t fit the rest of the story. There was no incongruity in “Gravely Inanimate”. I expect to see a lot more top quality Steampunk fiction from this artist.
This is a tale of a young teenage lady growing up in Victorian London, at a time when the city has been in the grip of a Zombie epidemic for many years. Alleged to have been created by a Voodoo Queen, the Zombies made it imprudent, to say the least, for anyone to venture out alone at night. However, Miss Lucy, the heroine of the story, lost her mother to a zombie bite when she was quite young, thus having only her father and a maid to raise her. Consequently she and her best friend, Emily, devised many ways to circumvent the de facto curfew, as young teens are wont to do. One night, as she walked home from Emily’s house rather later than she had anticipated, she suddenly found herself surrounded by a horde of hungry zombies. Out of nowhere, a masked man rescues her and carries her back to her home. Thus began the story of a relationship which would set the two amidst many an adventure. “Gravely Inanimated” is a surprisingly well-written debut novel, of a quality more commonly found among experienced authors. I highly recommend this fascinating read. And I will be anxiously watching for the next installment of this saga.