Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Undying Heart by Zoe Archer

So Literary Escapism is hosting another NAC Mini-Challenge this month, and though my reading has taken a temporary dive thanks to the wedding craziness, I had intended to participate. I even set aside some qualifying titles to do so. This weekend, I took my first crack at it with Half Past Dead, a book that is actually two novellas by two different authors: Zoe Archer's "The Undying Heart" and Bianca D'Arc's "Simon Says."

Zoe Archer's half is the qualifying one for the contest, so I figured it would be okay to do a devoted post to her half of the book.

First let me say that I love zombies. Love them. But I've heard it said that zombies will never take vampires' spots in the romance category. And I have to say I agree. See, you can have a romance with zombies, but zombie romance is kind of icky -- even if they're treated the way Archer does.

That said, you probably all know that I lean more towards the paranormal than the romance anyway, so I'm not the best "objective" reader here.

It's 1858 and Cassandra Fielding has taken a position as a member of the Blades of the Rose, a group that protects magic from those who would use it for terrible gain. When she is reunited with Samuel Reed, a childhood friend of her brother's, the reunion, though welcome, is bittersweet. Cassandra and her family received news that everyone in her brother's company was killed in action. Everyone including Sam. The news was no mistake. Sam is dead and has been brought back to serve the whims of an evil man, one the Blades have had their eye on for some time. With Cassandra and Sam both vowing justice and vengeance against their target, it makes sense that they would pool their efforts and work together.

I really enjoyed the action and the setting in this tale. The zombie sex, not so much. (Hope I'm not spoiling anything for you out there, but it is a romance title, there are two main characters, 2+2 does generally equal 4.)

Archer's got undeniable talent in weaving entertaining tales and in character and world building, my preference just tends to run towards the more horrific zombie stories. I'd put it high on my list of recommends for originality if you happen to be one of the mass amounts of paranormal romance fans out there that goes for the steamy.

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