I HATE ZOMBIE STORIES, I should get that out of the way up front.
So why this book? Well, I put this book on my TBR list based on a tweet from the director of the most recent Much Ado About Nothing movie and a vague, yet promising, book blurb. If I'd waited until it was reviewed, or more detailed descriptions were available, I probably wouldn't have started this. Having started it, and then figuring out what it's about, I stopped reading it several times during the first two hundred pages -- but I was usually waiting for something with nothing else to read, or was curious about how the next chapter would deal with plot point X. Before I knew it, I was 50% done, so I might as well finish.
There's a little more to it than that -- this book just got me, and I couldn't stop reading it, really. Little Melanie -- in all her innocent, caring, devoted, Zombie genius glory, is delightful. This book is a wonderful combination of childhood optimism, stark darkness, hope, love, despair and megalomania . . . told in a voice that's in the same breath amusing and gut wrenching.
This is another one of those that I don't know how to talk about without spoiling in on multiple fronts. Carey (author of the Felix Castor UF books and The Unwritten comics -- and many other things I haven't gotten around to) has created something special here, something unlike anything else I've read from him. Think Let the Right One In, but endearing and without the creepy sexual vibe. That's not entirely accurate, but it's not inaccurate, either.
I guess let's just leave it as this: it's a zombie novel, that I couldn't put down and almost gave 5 stars to. Pretty remarkable accomplishment by my standards.