Zombies Jake and Amanda head to Iowa for a hoped-for cure, psychic ex–government agent Cass in tow.
As in the first book (Eat, Brains, Love, 2012), the narration alternates between underachiever Jake, kicking himself at his good fortune to have become beloved of the superhot Amanda, and insecure, maladjusted Cass, reluctantly acknowledging that her psychic attraction to Jake is both insane and hopeless. Iowa is something of a new Wild West, all access points barricaded to keep zombies (and the dwindling human population) in and humans out. Once on the other side, a series of misadventures separates the teens, forcing Cass and Amanda into an uneasy truce and sending Jake on his own into Des Moines, shambling after the mythic cure. Des Moines, under the control of zombie overlord Lord Wesley, consciously recalls the horrors of such catastrophically lawless zones as Mogadishu, though with a better soundtrack. Hart balances humor and heartbreak with expert precision, Jake’s slacker voice lending itself to some pretty funny reflections: “What if [Amanda and Cass had] been eaten? Or, well, what if one of them had eaten the other? And the noneaten one was all mad at me?” But Hart never lets readers forget that this is the zombie apocalypse, man, with all the spilling entrails that entails, and the emotions ring true.
These zombies are so touchingly human it’s impossible not to love them. (Horror. 14-18)