ONCE UPON A ZOMBIE by Billy Phillips


Book One: The Color of Fear
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Kid-friendly horror featuring iconic fairy-tale heroines for young readers who enjoy their literary fare on the darker side.

Tonally and stylistically reminiscent of the Monster High novels, this middle-grade novel (the first in a planned series) has an intriguing premise: 14-year-old Caitlin, the new kid at a prestigious London academy, gets tricked into visiting the gravesite of Lewis Carroll at night and falls down a proverbial rabbit hole into a magical realm created by particles of imagination. There, she’s befriended by a quartet of popular fairy-tale females—Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty—who have all become zombified due to the evil machinations of the Queen of Hearts and a being known as the Enchanter. Caitlin learns that she’s the only one who can save both realms from the spreading darkness that is sucking the wonder out of the world and turning the inhabitants into zombies. Caitlin’s mission is daunting—she must somehow take the Queen of Hearts’ magic scepter from her. The queen, however, is guarded by an army of zombie wolves, crows, and bats. As Caitlin, her younger sister, Natalie, and her undead princess besties trek through dangerous fantasy realms en route to the queen’s castle, Caitlin’s crush from school—a boy named Jack—finds his way into the magical realm and experiences his own tribulations. Powered by a fast-paced, action-packed narrative that features beloved childhood characters in a decidedly darker light, this story will surely delight readers of all ages. In one memorable scene, “Tweedledee and Tweedledum were terrorizing the dance floor with some super-loose hip-hop moves. An undead and pale Peter Pan was chatting up a Blood-Eyed, rotting Red Riding Hood.”

A fast, fun read that’s undeniably cool, just like its princesses.

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2015


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