Sunday 21 April 2024

BOOK REVIEW: Zombie Nerd and the Half-Term Harrowing by Jack Callaghan

Zombie Nerd and the Half-Term Harrowing
Author: Jack Callaghan

Publication Date: 6 October 2023
Genre: YA Dystopian / Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

Book Description:
The 'Zombie Apocalypse' is over and has been for some time.

As the country tries to recover from the chaos, Zombies and Survivors live in as close to harmony as they're able, but old divisions continue to bubble beneath the surface.

Ronnie Thanatos isn't a very good Zombie. He suffers from the usual trappings that come with being a member of the undead, but he isn't tough, he isn't cool, and he certainly isn't scary.

Zombies are supposed to be scary, aren't they?

When he learns of the existence of a mysterious man of science, who is believed to have started the Zombie outbreak, Ronnie sets off on a journey towards the country's former capital, the dreadful and benighted 'Necropolis', in search of answers.

Joined by his faithful friends Nate and Bridget, Ronnie travels across the desolate landscape, meeting strange and interesting people, putting his courage to the test, and learning the importance of everyone being 'different but all the same'.

Buy Links:
Amazon US | UK


Zombie Nerd and the Half-Term Harrowing transports readers to a post-apocalyptic world where the zombie apocalypse has concluded, leaving behind a fractured society where zombies and survivors attempt to coexist. At the heart of the narrative is Ronnie Thanatos, a lovably awkward zombie who defies stereotypes. Alongside his companions Nate and Bridget, Ronnie embarks on a quest to unravel the mysteries surrounding the outbreak. Their journey takes them through the desolate landscapes of Necropolis, where they confront both external threats and internal struggles.


Jack Callaghan's Zombie Nerd and the Half-Term Harrowing injects new life into the zombie genre by shifting the focus from the initial chaos to the aftermath of the apocalypse. The characters are the heart and soul of this tale, with Ronnie, Nate and Bridget captivating readers with their distinct personalities and heartfelt interactions. Ronnie, in particular, stands out as a refreshingly unconventional protagonist, challenging preconceived notions of what it means to be a zombie.

The narrative's exploration of themes such as acceptance, friendship and identity adds layers of depth and complexity, elevating the story beyond a mere adventure. Readers are invited to ponder the meaning of humanity and the importance of embracing diversity in a world ravaged by disaster. Callaghan's writing strikes a delicate balance between humour and poignancy, eliciting both laughter and tears as the characters navigate the challenges of their harsh reality.

While the book excels in character development and thematic depth, there are some minor drawbacks to consider. The pacing occasionally falters, with certain sections dragging on longer than necessary, resulting in a slower progression of the story. Additionally, the formatting, particularly the inclusion of multiple dialogues within a single paragraph, can be confusing at times, disrupting the flow of the narrative.

However, these shortcomings are outweighed by the book's many strengths. Zombie Nerd and the Half-Term Harrowing is a captivating read that will resonate with audiences of all ages. It is a testament to the power of friendship, resilience and the enduring human spirit in the face of adversity.


Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Author

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