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Reviewed by Janelle Alex, Ph.D. for Readers' Favorite
Readers will find a hidden gem, oddly enough, in Jonathan J. Drake's Zombie Mage. There is a dark and chilling tale within the fantastical plot, but it isn't as grotesque as one might expect from a novel that includes zombies. Olligh Selthnik awakens in a world that is no longer his own. He seems to have lost most of his memory, though he does recall his name. He's viewed as a zombie, but he's convinced he is not such a monster. Upon finding a way to speak once again, he is able to begin asking questions as he searches for answers to his dilemma. Unfortunately, most people he encounters are deathly afraid of him. He has better luck conversing with others who are dead, but that is a challenge for Olligh as well because he doesn't believe it's possible that he is dead, too. The truth is possibly far more disturbing...from the beginning of Zombie Mage to the very last line.
Jonathan J. Drake has crafted a very well-written tale of horror, with a touch of humor, fantasy and magic in Zombie Mage. The cover doesn't do the story justice and, sadly, potential readers do still judge books by their covers. But, if readers move past the barrier of a so-so cover, they will find a unique perspective on the traditional zombie horror novel. In fact, Drake's use of magic in the story steps far away from the modern tales of magic and the fear magic evokes in those who don't understand it or use it. Zombie Mage has just enough creep factor and gore to keep horror fans interested, while Drake brings in a deeper plot surrounded in fantasy and mystery. Jonathan J. Drake's Zombie Mage is not one to be missed!