Happy Monday, Bookworms!
Ordinarily, Mondays bum me out, but not today. Today is a shortened work week for me because I’m going to BlogHer on Thursday (wahoo!) Have I mentioned that I’m excited? To kick the week off on a happy note, today we’re going to talk about Diana Gabaldon’s novella, A Plague of Zombies.
I’m a big giant fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. She’s done a spin off series based on Lord John Grey (of which I have only read one… The one where studly Jamie Fraser featured prominently, natch.) Periodically she’ll also publish novellas to compliment the main Outlander books. It’s a good strategy, because we fans are positively RAVENOUS for new material. It certainly didn’t hurt anything that this particular novella also featured ZOMBIES. (In case y0u need reminding of my adoration of the undead see HERE and HERE.)
A Plague of Zombies takes place sometime during the Voyager saga. While Jamie and Claire are off doing other things, Lord John has been sent to Jamaica. In the 18th century, Jamaica isn’t exactly a fabulous tourist destination. Jamaica at this time is full of wealthy European landowners, slaves, escaped slaves, a crap ton of bugs, and Mrs. Abernathy (formerly known as the wily and trecherous Geillis Duncan.) Lord John never does anything without having weird crap happen to him. He’s a magnet for this sort of thing.
Shortly after he arrives on the island, he is visited by what appears to be a zombie. Oh yeah. We are talking stinky, undead, flesh eating zombie. The island’s African population is freaked the frick out by the prospect of zombies (though really, who isn’t?) Lord John is nothing if not practical, so he decides to investigate the matter further.
This leads him to an encounter with Mrs. Abernathy AKA Geillis Duncan (from the original Oulander!) He notices that she’s a wee bit over familiar with the ideas of curses, zombies, and general scary doings… Also that she appears to be carrying an advanced case of syphilis. (Too bad Claire isn’t around with her homemade penicillin, amiright?! Actually, Geillis was crazy before the syphilis and given her penchant for trouble making, the penicillin would be better used on someone who didn’t systematically eliminate her husbands… )
So. Lord John has a mystery to solve, and solves it rather tidily, as he is wont to do. All in all it was a nice little story, a pleasant revisiting of familiar characters to tide us over until March 2014, when Written in My Own Heart’s Blood comes out. The very best part of this novella, though? Bonus sneak preview of the new book. EEEP! Even if the novella had been a complete dud, it would have been worth it to get a glimpse of the shenanigans about to ensue. (Of course, Jem is still stuck in that blasted tunnel… The suspense, Diana! Have mercy on my neurotic soul!)
Anybody else out there picked up A Plague of Zombies? Any other rabid fans want to comment on the newly cast Jamie? Personally, I think a good hair colorist and consume designer can pull it off, but what say you, Bookworms?