Kirkus Reviews QR Code
DEAD RECKONING by Mercedes Lackey


by Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: June 5th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59990-684-3
Publisher: Bloomsbury

A post–Civil War tale follows an unlikely trio of teens that unites to fight zombies.

Jett is searching for her brother, whom she hopes has survived the war. She travels the South, dressing as a man and repelling danger with her gunslinging prowess. Gibbons is the daughter of a gullible inventor; she investigates lurid claims her father would otherwise believe, putting her own scientific methods to work. White Fox is a white man adopted by the "Red Earth People" whose purpose other than protecting the two girls is not altogether clear. The three meet after a legion of zombies has destroyed a nearby town and determine to prevent further carnage. Lackey and Edghill elect Jett as the main character, but Gibbons and White Fox get nearly as much playtime. Most of the book is comprised of the trio discussing theories of the genesis of the zombies and strategies to quell future uprisings. Experienced paranormal fans will likely miss a romantic subplot, an oversight that might have jelled the characters together better and engaged readers. The best aspects of the book are its distinctive characterizations and the incongruity of zombies in a historic milieu, but the world is more interesting than the story.

A novel take on historical fiction that nevertheless disappoints. (Paranormal historical fiction. 10 & up)