Review Detail

2.3 1
Young Adult Fiction 1580
too similar to downton abbey
Overall rating
Writing Style
"Zombie Abbey" is Downton Abbey with zombies (and characters names changed). Although it's been a while since I watched Downton Abbey, all the characters reminded me of specific characters from the show (just names were changed). The difference here is the zombies in the vein of the "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" book published in 2009 (and made into a movie in 2016). As such, I didn't find this to be as novel as other reviewers, but I was surprised at how closely the characters mirrored Downton Abbey's characters. For instance, the three sisters are almost exactly like the sisters in the show, plus the parents are similar, the distant cousin who will inherit, the house manager that views the eldest daughter as if she were his own, the sassy, young kitchen attendant whose mouth will get her in trouble, etc. The only characters I did not remember from the show are the cats, who surprisingly get their own points-of-view in the book.

We skip from person to person in the book, getting a glimpse of their thoughts and ideas before going to the next. It is not hard to follow, despite the many characters whose points-of-view we witness. Many of the characters are not easy to like, particularly the eldest daughter (similar to the show) and the footman/acting valet, Daniel, who steals money and is generally discontent. We seem to get their perspective more frequently (at least it seems that way to me) and neither is particularly likable. The most likable are the middle (somewhat forgotten) and youngest (naive but brave) daughters that mirror the ones in the show.

The build to the zombies seems rather slow with the annoying doctor discounting everyone's experiences (until his fate catches up to him) and a slow discovery of what is happening/when it becomes a real issue. It does take a while to set up the many characters. I almost felt like this could be fanfiction for Downton Abbey that was turned into a book (maybe intended to be a parody?). I'm not sure how I felt about it overall, but I think it does have an audience- just maybe not me. And I think this was largely due to expectations of this being something new and learning that it was not so new. It did have some funny moments and would be great for fans of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!"

Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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