Review by Anniek
Lilly is at home with her family when her father calls everyone to the living room to watch the news. They find out that the world as they know it is about to end. There's a little supermarket further down the street and Lilly's father and brother are going to get some extra supplies, so they can stay safely inside for a while. The undead are rising fast and precautions have to be taken. How long will it be before the hordes reach Lilly's town?
Lilly's fiancé Victor is at their apartment in the city. Lately he's been acting strange and holes up in his office, working day and night. Lilly is having doubts about their upcoming wedding and doesn't know if she should be staying with Victor. She tries to reach Victor on his phone, but he doesn't answer. When Victor finally calls he lets Lilly know that she has to pack and get ready to go. Victor will take them all to a cruise ship which will bring them to Atlantis, a secluded and private island. Lilly and her family agree that this is probably the most logical way to stay safe and survive. What if the biggest threat isn't the undead? What if danger has already followed them onto the ship?
After losing their mom, Lilly and her family have become even more close than they already were. There's no doubt in their mind that they'll stay together and will do anything they can to make it safely to the island. Victor is a horrible person and he bullies Lilly into submission. Lilly is much stronger and smarter than he is. She stands up to him with her head held high and I loved that about her. I was desperately wishing for Lilly and her family to stay alive and this kept me on the edge of my seat.
In Zombie! Cruise Ship Disaster, Lilly tells you her story. I could feel the chaos that comes with the ending of the world fly off the pages. The story has been written by three authors and I loved the fact that they've managed to work together so well. The story has a natural flow and the fact that it's in the form of a diary made it feel more real. It was chilling and the unexpected twists and turns really took me by surprise. This is the first book written by ZOM and I think that they have a promising future as authors ahead of them.
If you like to read a zombie story that does have the chaotic and terrifying elements of the genre, but also focuses on the scary nature of mankind, Zombie! Cruise Ship Disaster would be a perfect choice for you.
ZOM, or Zombie Origin Media, is the pen name for Mitch, Crystal and Rachel. They're siblings who are writing zombie stories together. Zombie! Cruise Ship Disaster: Memoir of Lilly Delarose is their first zombie novel.
1. Could you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Oh golly, where do we start? First off, we’re Mitch, Crystal and Rachel—three troublemaking siblings who still live at home together, driving our parents crazy. Going back in time a little, Mitch and Crystal were living the good life, getting all the attention from mommy and daddy. But all that changed in 1997. We asked, begged even, for a baby brother, but instead, we get stuck with a little sister. It didn’t turn out so bad for Mitch, but with Rachel as the new baby, Crystal was left to suffer as the forgotten middle child. Despite Rachel’s unrequested addition to our perfect family (Ray Ray gets picked on a lot), we manage to get along and make each other laugh. Now, we write zombie stories together under the pen name “Zombie Origin Media” (basically we’re three idiots trying to look professional). Writing a novel together was the easy part; then we had to figure out marketing, and that didn’t go so well. As soon as we put Rachel in charge of social media, she fled the country to Ireland (and she didn’t even bring home any potatoes).
2. What makes your heart beat faster?
Someone jumping out of the dark to scare the hell out of you. When you live with your Italian mother, you get used to the house being really loud . . . all the time (whether she’s playing opera music or just having a conversation with herself). But on the strange occasion when the house is dead silent, you know there’s a heart attack waiting for you right around the corner. Boo!
3. Which horror monster do you fear the most?
Hands down, the Leprechaun. We haven’t been brave enough to eat Lucky Charms since watching those movies in an all-night marathon. How can such a cute little Irish midget turn out to be so evil? He’s like Chucky from Potato Land.
4. If the zombie apocalypse would happen today, what would you do?
Step 1: Ditch mom. Sorry, mom, but you’re dead weight. All three of us have had dreams of our mom getting us killed in a zombie apocalypse—whether she’s taking her sweet time to keep up or just being completely clueless about what’s going on.
Step 2: Protect the precious Holly (our adorable Labrador Retriever). Now this is gonna be a challenge, trying to train the pup (yes she’s still a puppy at 8 years old even though she’s got a gray beard) not to run up to and lick every single person. Seriously, Holly, dead people don’t taste that good (I assume).
Step 3: Hmm, I guess we haven’t really planned that far. But we’ve got step 1 down pat—that should buy us some time to figure out what to do next.
5. What’s your favorite horror movie?
Obviously any zombie movie. Our horror movies must either have zombies or humor (the stupider, the better). Young Frankenstein is probably our favorite horror movie—it’s not really scary, but it’s got a monster. Zombiewise, it’s too hard to choose just one movie. I wouldn’t call Cockneys vs Zombies the best zombie movie, but there’s nothing quite like watching grandpa outrun zombies with his walker.
6. What’s your worst nightmare?
Häagen-Dazs running out of ice cream. Nuff said.
7. If your book was made into a movie, who would play the lead characters and why?
Oh how we dream to see our story turned into a low budget Syfy movie with cringeworthy no-name acting. But if we’re dreaming a little bigger:
Lilly: If she’s looking for a comeback role, who better than Amanda Bynes to bring some immature comedy to a zombie tragedy.
Brody: We always imagined someone like Pete Davidson from SNL playing the part of Lilly’s goofy, lovable brother. Doesn’t everyone want a Pete Davidson as their brother?
Victor: After watching The Hunger Games multiple times to admire Sam Claflin (oh, and his acting), the role practically writes itself for him to play Lilly’s complex, sexy fiancé going through a bout of psychosis.
Jay: Dave Franco please. His jokes and his smile make him the perfect eye candy to play Lilly’s love interest. But we’ll have to write in more shirtless scenes.
Jalina: For Brody’s bright and sensible wife, Keke Palmer from Scream Queens can bring a sense of levelheadedness to the chaos (except for when she’s panicking).
8. What inspired you to write horror stories?
It all started with a joke last summer when we were hanging around the pool talking about the new movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The conversation went something like:
Crystal: What are they gonna do, add zombies to all the classics?
Mitch: How hard can it be? Maybe we can add zombies to Moby Dick.
Crystal: Moby Dick? What are you, an idiot? Why don’t we start with the Titanic.
Mitch: Fine, but we can’t say it’s based off the Titanic. Instead, we’ll have to say it’s based off of a generic love story on a ship.
Crystal: Good idea. So who wants to start writing? Rachel?
Rachel: Guys . . . have you seen my noodle?
9. What do you like the most about the horror genre?
Zombies! Our love for zombies began over a summer many moons ago where we wasted countless hours playing Call of Duty: Zombies. Mitch was getting a head start on college, the same time our mom decided to return to college and enroll in the exact same classes (and you thought Back to School was bad). But between their morning and evening classes, Mitch and mom had just enough time to come home as Crystal and Rachel were waking up. Since there isn’t much you can do when you have another class later in the evening, we just spent hours and hours playing videogames. What a productive summer. The best part, it took Rachel a couple weeks to realize it was only a two-player game and that her controller wasn’t plugged in.
10. What can we expect from you in the future?
We’ve almost finished our second novel: Zombie! Haunted Mansion. We’re now in the process of trying to make the story as ridiculous as possible. Surprisingly, so much of our daily stupidity is easily adaptable into novel form. Of course all names have been changed and all characters are “fictional”—we wouldn’t want to embarrass our mother or anything.
Besides zombie stories, Rachel aspires to be a professional vlogger. She just needs to figure out how to stretch her share of profits ($8.33) to cover the cost of a GoPro camera, a selfie stick, and a drone.
Three very lucky readers of With Love For Books will receive a paperback copy of Zombie! Cruise Ship Disaster: Memoir of Lilly Delarose by ZOM.
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.