Review: Zombie Island by Lori Handeland

Zombie Island: A Shakespeare Undead Novel by Lori Handeland
Series: A Shakespeare Undead Novel (# 2)
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages:  273
Source:  book won in a contest

In the follow-up to Shakespeare Undead, vampire William Shakespeare and his Dark Lady

are stranded on a mystical island where zombies are plentiful and one man will stop at nothing to become all-powerful .

Fresh from a triumphant battle over the zombie horde that invaded London, vampire William Shakespeare concocts a plot to rid the love of his life from the encumbrance of her husband. Will plans to give his ”dark lady,” Katherine Dymond, a potion that will make her sleep the sleep of the dead. Once she is entombed, Will can sneak in, wait for her to awaken, then spirit her away. After her husband returns to his plantation in America, Kate can return to London under a different name and assume a new identity. No one will believe that the dead Katherine and the live Kate are the same woman. Of course, as is often the case with true love, all does not go as smoothly as planned. When the two of them are shipwrecked on an island ruled by a wizard and a nymph, as well as infested by zombies, Will and Kate must stop an even larger plot afoot—one that leads all the way to the royal palaces of Queen Elizabeth.


Review:   Where to begin…I found out that this is the second book in a series after the fact.  Which may not be that bad at times, but I think for those that are thinking of getting this book you just may want to pick up the first in the series as this picks right up where the second left off.   I have to admit I went outside of the box for this one as it is only the second book on Zombies that I have read I still have a hard time grasping the fascination with them.

However, I did find that the story was interesting in its own right.  With the interest in the Royal Family right now it was rather funny that two of the main characters where named Will and Kate.  What a coincidence don’t you think?  Ms. Handeland used quotes from many of Shakespeare’s works within her story.  It was very different but likeable if you are a fan of Shakespeare.   She headed each chapter with quotes from the ‘Tempest’ which then each chapter seemed to follow somewhat that quote.  I kind of liked that.

The story as a whole kind of had that ‘Romeo and Juliet’ vibe so it was fun to see an ‘undead’ twist on the whole thing.  At times it was hard to follow because of the changing from night to day and back again or the changing from the periods of time.  They didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked making it hard to follow, especially when it was within a conversation.

Will is a vampire and Kate the vampire slayer.  Kate is in an abusive marriage, but her saving grace so to speak is Will whom she is his mistress.  Trying to save Kate, Will helps an evil wizard make Zombies…are you still with me?  Oh, this all takes place on an island far, far, away…   The wizard had enlisted a sprite named Ariel, who has now fallen in love with Reginald who has been changed into a lycan named Caliban.   I am confused also.

I feel that maybe this book was a little rushed.  What could have been left open for a third and I am not saying it isn’t but, things where hurried towards the end.  The focus seemed to be more about Shakespeare’s writings than about the Zombies themselves.  I didn’t love this book but neither did I hate it either.  I think if you are a fan of Shakespeare’s you will enjoy it.  But as mentioned earlier I think I would get the first book and read it before this one.