(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Twenty-five years after the deadly plague, the United Five State Republic’s most successful company, Zombie, Inc., is in trouble. Will a simple case of dwindling supply and lessening demand be the end of them or will Zombie, Inc. find a way, however unpalatable, to survive?
Zombie, Inc. is an awesome new twist on the whole evil corporation trope. I don’t say that lightly either because the evil corporation trope is done quite a bit these days, not entirely undeservedly. Politics aside, if you love zombie novels you’ll love this new take on the zombie mythos.
Christine Dougherty’s zombies are pretty standard fare: they’re generally slow but the new ones are obviously stronger and faster. However, what’s done with the zombies by Zombie Inc. is incredible: since zombies aren’t as much of a threat as looters 25 years post-apocalypse, they’re used as chained-up watchdogs. Zombie Inc. has built its whole business model on the fact that there will be enough zombies to supply this guard dog demand, but now that the zombie supply is running out what will the corporation do?
I think you can sort of guess, but let me tell you more about Christine Dougherty’s post-apocalyptic evil corporation. People at Zombie Inc now work seven days a week because it’s safer, they work ten hour days minimum and get only 2 days off per year for their first year of work. Two days a year! And the world is so changed that everyone just accepts this without question; Zombie Inc. is there to protect you, after all. In between the chapters in a series of training manual clips, press releases and advertisements we learn a whole lot more about Zombie Inc. and its less than savory business practices.
With world-building like this it would be easy to let the evil corporation theme steal the scenes and leave the characters undeveloped. I won’t say that Christine Dougherty had absolutely amazing character development, but her characters were interesting and generally well-developed. I particularly liked Carl’s backstory, even if Candy’s was a little random. Once we got to see things from Dill’s (Dillalia’s) point of view, she started to carry the story on her shoulders, especially toward the end. Carl was still my overall favourite character because of his tragic past, but Dill was decent enough.
The plot was well paced and although some of the plot twists were a little predictable, the characters and awesome world-building more than made up for it. In short, if you love zombies, you’ll love Zombie, Inc.
I give this book 4/5 stars.