Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Attack of the Fairytale Zombies! - P.J. Jones

    2012; 194 pages.  New Author? : Yes.  Genre :  Parody; Humor.  Overall Rating : 7*/10.

    Of what use is a Royal Dragon-Slayer, if he refuses to kill the resident dragon?  A fair question that King Ronald Dump poses to said employee.  But Sir Barth and “Drag” are the best of friends, and blood, even if it is lizard’s blood, is thicker than duty.

    Drag and Barth are prepared to flee the kingdom over the matter.  But then the local witch turns the kingdom’s inhabitants into brainsss-craving zombies, and the walking dead converge upon King Dump’s castle.  Suddenly, Barth’s swordsmanship seems like a valuable commodity.

What’s To Like...
    Attack of the Fairytale Zombies! is a parody, and manages to be bawdy without bring obscene.  The language is …erm… earthy, and there are a bunch of allusions to “adult situations”.  But really, it’s nothing you wouldn’t hear in a junior high locker room.

    My two favorite characters are a cross-dressing dragon and an apprentice “good” witch.  The rest, including our hero, are forgettably stereotypical.  There is a semblance of a storyline (the “attack of the fairytale zombies”), but it’s really nothing but a string of clichés.  The author is aware of this; indeed, she uses the word cliché a half-dozen times in the novel.  Another favorite word of hers : sigh.  It shows up 25 times.

    At less than 200 pages, this is a short read, but it’s the right length for this sort of parody.  The gag lines do get repetitive, but any book that has the cry “Brainsss!” and zombie pigs in it will keep me turning the pages.

    She screeched as she landed in Barth’s lap with a thud.  “Oh, I’m sorry.”
    When Barth looked into the witch’s wide, violet eyes, he thought his heart would melt.  Except, not all the way, because then his heart wouldn’t be able to pump blood, and he’d die.  It melted just enough so the reader gets that Barth was instantly in love.  (loc. 267)

    “Whom did you slay?” the king groaned.
    Barth tilted his head while tapping his chin.  “About a dozen knights, a few hobbits and goblins, an evil step-sister, a wooden puppet, one or two princesses, oh and Bill Murray.  He wasn’t a zombie yet, but I lopped off his head just for the hell of it.”
    The king slapped his forehead.  “I can’t believe you killed Bill Murray.”
    Barth arched a brow.  “Have you seen Garfield?”  (loc. 631)

Kindle Details...
    Attack of the Fairytale Zombies! sells for $0.99 at Amazon, which seems to be the standard price for all of P.J. Jones’ books ATM.  She is also a contributing author to the anthologies put out by a group who call themselves The Eclective, and these are very good and often free.  Indeed, if you watch the various “free Kindle books” websites and/or Amazon, you will sooner or later find a lot of Ms. Jones’ books free for limited time periods.

“Why can Blahnik design shoes for filthy little hobbits but not for cross-dressing dragons?” (loc. 53)
    Attack of the Fairytale Zombies! reminds me of a book from way back in the mid-90’s, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories.  Both are spoofs, both rely on repetitive punch lines, and neither makes any pretense of having any depth.  One relies on sexual innuendo; the other on PC-innuendo.

    PCBS had a brief heyday – ISTR it made the NY Times Best Seller list – but it had no staying power because, after you grew tired of hearing the same witticisms over and over again (“womyn” instead of “women”), all you had left was the fairy tale storyline.  The same holds true here.  When the genitalia boner mots get old, there’s not much else to latch on to.

    AotFT! can be summed up in two words : “tabasco-flavored cotton-candy”.  Okay, maybe that’s four words.  This is a spicy novel, but without any substance.  Still, there are times when cotton-candy is just what one’s taste buds are craving, and I doubt P.J. Jones  had any intention of writing something complex or high-brow.  7 Stars.  Add another star if you remember PCBS, and thought it was hilarious.

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