Books : reviews

Diana Rowland.
My Life as a White Trash Zombie.
Daw. 2011

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 11 November 2011

Angel Crawford is typical white trash, a high school dropout, living with her alcoholic dead beat father, already popping pills herself. She looks well on the road to an early grave, until she wakes up in hospital after an overdose, with a strange craving...

It's fun to watch Angel as she slowly comes to realise what she is, tries to learn about zombies from watching B movies, and learns self-discipline in order not to become a monster. Lots of interesting details about working in a mortuary, too. And maggots.

Fun mind candy. Or brain candy. Or brains as candy.

Diana Rowland.
Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues.
Daw. 2012

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 31 May 2014

Angel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that’s right—the zombie mafia.

Throw in a secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower—and maybe a brain smoothie as well—in order to get through it without falling apart.

Angel Crawford has been a zombie for a few months now, and is beginning to come to terms with it. Her job at the mortuary gives her access to plenty of fresh brains, so she’s not in any danger of falling apart. She’s beginning to get her life together, but there’s still plenty who think she’s irredeemable white trash. Then a strange death at a medical lab, followed by the corpse being stolen, threatens Angel’s job, and her life. She must figure out what is going on, while dealing with a patronising boyfriend and his sinister uncle. Oh, and pass her high school exam.

Lots of running around eating brains, and finding gross corpses, and trying to outsmart the bad guys, plus an ingenious (if evolutionarily implausible) explanation of how the zombie effect works. Good smart-mouthed fun, as Angel grows up, becomes independent, and realises that she will live for a very long time. If the zombie hunters don’t kill her first.

Diana Rowland.
White Trash Zombie Apocalypse.
Daw. 2013

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 23 December 2014

Our favorite white trash zombie, Angel Crawford, has enough problems of her own, what with dealing with her alcoholic, dead-beat dad, issues with her not-quite boyfriend, the zombie mafia, industrial espionage, and evil corporations. Oh, and it’s raining, and won’t let up.

But things get even crazier when a zombie flick starts filming in town, and Angel begins to suspect that it’s not just the plot of the movie that’s rotten. Soon she’s fighting her way through mud, blood, bullets, and intrigue, even as zombies, both real and fake, prowl the streets.

Angel’s been through more than her share of crap, but this time she’s in way over her head. She’ll need plenty of brainpower to fit all the pieces—and body parts—together in order to save herself, her town, and quite possibly the human race.

At least for now.

With a zombie movie in the making in her home town, it's hard for Angel to tell the real zombies from the extras. But she has to try, when here old enemies turn up, trying to corner the market in ersatz brains.

More fun mayhem with our favourite white trash zombie, who’s getting less trashy by the day. She’s just growing up, in a rather non-traditional way.

Diana Rowland.
How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back.
Daw. 2014

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 7 June 2015

Our favorite zombie Angel Crawford has come a long way from her days as a pain-pill-addicted high school dropout with a felony record. After a year highlighted by murder, kidnapping, and the loss of her home, all she wants to do is kick back, relax, and maybe even think about college.

But when key members of the "Zombie Mafia" go missing, she has no choice but to get involved. Angel is certain Saberton Corporation is behind the disappearances, yet she can’t shake the sense that a far deeper conspiracy is at work. With the small band of friends she can trust, Angel strikes out to track down the missing zombies.

From a seedy redneck bar in the backwoods of south Louisiana to a high society cocktail party halfway across the country, Angel claws her way through corporate intrigue, zombie drugs, and undead trafficking. In no time at all she’s embroiled in kidnapping plots and hostage negotiations—though for once she’s the one calling the felonious shots. Add some breaking and entering, criminal damage, and a wee bit of terrorism, and Angel’s up to her undead ears in the kind of trouble she excels at.

But when unexpected danger threatens to destroy her, all the brains and bravado in the world may not be enough to keep her from going to pieces.

Angel Crawford, high school dropout, zombie, and morgue attendant, has a problem. He zombie mafia colleagues are under attack by the Saberton Corporation, who have managed to kill, kidnap, and discredit the core team. Angel and friends must go to New York to fight the bad guys. But Angel has never been that far from home.

Another rollicking episode of Educating Angel. Here it’s her reaction to New York in general, and its subway in particular, that provide the lighter moments. There’s also the problem that more and more “normal” people are finding out about the zombies. And the final scene might indicate the resurrection of an old problem that Angel thought had gone forever.

Diana Rowland.
White Trash Zombie Gone Wild.
Daw. 2015

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 10 November 2019

Angel Crawford has buried her loser past and is cruising along in undead high gear—that is, until a murder-by-decapitation sends her on a hazardous detour. As Angel hunts for the killer, she uncovers a scheme that would expose zombies to the public and destroy the life she’s built, and she’s determined not to rest until she finds out who’s behind it.

Soon she’s neck-deep in lies, redneck intrigue, zombie hunters, and rot-sniffing cadaver dogs. It’s up to her to unravel the truth and snuff out the conspiracy before the existence of zombies makes headline news and she’s outed as a monster.

But Angel hasn’t quite escaped the pill-popping ghosts of her past—not with an illicit zombie pharmaceutical at her fingertips. Good thing she’s absolutely sure she can handle the drug’s unpredictable side effects and still take down the bad guys…or maybe she’s only one bad choice away from being dead meat—for real this time.

Angel Crawford is a zombie, and her parasite protects her from the influence of drugs. That’s enabled her to turn her life around from drug addict loser to hardworking morgue attendant. Until she gets accidentally addicted to a zombie-proof compound, that is. She is sure she can control things, which is good, as there are folks who want to out the zombies, which could be fatal for her newly-improved life.

Another fun outing of Angel in Zombie-land. Consequences from previous adventures come back to haunt Angel, and I’m sure consequences of this one will haunt her later. But for now, she’s holding in there.

Diana Rowland.
White Trash Zombie Unchained.
Daw. 2017

Angel Crawford has finally pulled herself together (literally!) after her disastrous dismemberment on Mardi Gras. She’s putting the pieces of her life back in order and is ready to tackle whatever the future holds.

Too bad the future is a nasty bitch. There’s a new kind of zombie in town: mindless shamblers, infectious and ravenous.

With the threat of a full-blown shambler pandemic looming, and a loved one stricken, Angel and the “real” zombies scramble to find a cure. Yet when Angel uncovers the true reason the plague is spreading so quickly, she adds “no-holds-harred revenge” to her to-do list.

Angel is busting her ass dealing with shambling hordes, zombie gators, government jerks, and way too many mosquitoes, but this white trash chick ain’t giving up.

Good thing, since the fate of the world is resting on her undead shoulders.

Diana Rowland.
Mark of the Demon.
Bantam. 2009

rating : 4.5 : passes the time
review : 28 June 2012

Kara Gillian is a detective newly transferred to homicide when the long-dormant Symbol Man serial killer strikes again. She is the only one familiar with the case, but that is because of her hidden life as a demon summoner. During a routine summoning she accidentally summons the immensely powerful Rhyzhahl, who shatters her bindings but then, instead of killing her, seduces her and tells her to call him. Why? Can Rhyzhahl help her catch the Symbol Man before he kills again? And are the cases linked? (Of course they are!)

This is a "police procedural with demons" (and maggots). Several red herrings clearly pointing to the killer manage to conceal the real villain. There are a few coincidences driving the plot, and people see-sawing between different behaviours. But this is a fun romp, and I'll be looking out for the sequels.

Diana Rowland.
Blood of the Demon.
Bantam. 2010

Diana Rowland.
Secrets of the Demon.
Bantam. 2011

Diana Rowland.
Sins of the Demon.
Bantam. 2012

Diana Rowland.
Touch of the Demon.
Bantam. 2013

Diana Rowland.
Fury of the Demon.
Daw. 2014

Demon summoner and now a consultant for the FBI, Kara Gillian has spent the past several months in the demon realm training while recovering from the treachery of the demonic lord Rhyzkahl. Yet though the torment and betrayal she suffered at his hands continues to plague her, she’s not about to let that slow her down.

Kara returns to Earth to search for a fellow summoner being held by allies of Rhyzkahl. Aiding in the hunt are Kara’s friends, FBI agents Ryan Kristoff and Zack Garner. However, Kara and Zack know Ryan’s true identity—though he himself does not—and questions of loyalty threaten to tear apart their previously close-knit group. Rhyzkahl’s machinations run deeper than they could have ever imagined, and the search for the missing summoner takes on a desperate edge while dangers from ancient demon oaths loom and enemies increase in power and numbers.

Diana Rowland.
Vengeance of the Demon.
Daw. 2015

Demon summoner Kara Gillian is on the wrong side of the law

And there’s evidence to prove it. Too bad the courts don’t accept “fighting demonic forces” as justification for murder and mayhem.

Yet Kara has problems that go way beyond her legal woes. When the enemy demonic lords spur their human accomplices into high gear, master summoner Katashi aggressively pursues their goal to establish a permanent gate between Earth and the demon realm. To hell with the consequences for humanity.

The line between ally and enemy blurs as Kara gathers the remnants of her posse to prevent a devastating demonic incursion, but a shattered trust may cost them the war and put Kara behind bars. With treachery rife, and her loved ones in danger, Kara must call upon the essence of who she truly is in order to rally back from a crushing loss.

And if she can’t, the world is going straight to hell.