The Z Word

Quirk. May 2024. 256p. ISBN 9781683694076. pap. $16.99. HORROR
DEBUT Pride is about to kick off in the small town of San Lazaro, AZ, home of Seabrook, a hard-seltzer maker that is the corporate sponsor of Pride across the globe. As the queer community gathers to celebrate, readers are introduced to the novel’s narrator, Wendy, a transplant to Arizona who is still finding herself, especially after her difficult breakup with Leah; party host Aurelia and her wife Sam; Logan, a drag queen; Beau, an older lesbian; Sunshine, the nonbinary pizza delivery person; and, of course, Leah, Wendy’s ex. This sexy, thoughtful, and fast-paced sardonic zombie adventure is told with layers of unease, stemming from forces both supernatural and real. Readers will love to root for this band of survivors, a found family that works together to figure out what is happening and try to stop it from destroying everything.
VERDICT King-Miller’s (Ask a Queer Chick: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life for Girls who Dig Girls) fiction debut expertly balances social commentary with fun in a novel that will have readers cheering for her queer heroes and questioning their own brand loyalties. Will have wide appeal for fans of Jennifer Government by Max Barry, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith, and Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin.
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