Review: iZombie, Vol. 1: Dead to the World – Chris Roberson

izombie vol. 1: dead to the world
Title: iZombie, Vol. 1: Dead to the World
Author: Chris Roberson (Art by Michael Allred)
Series: iZombie Vol. 1
Published: March 22, 2011
Opening Sentence: “Halloween, when all the ghouls and goblins come out to play.”
Author Website (Illustrator) | Goodreads | Amazon

Told from a female zombie’s perspective, this smart, witty detective series mixes urban fantasy and romantic dramedy.Gwendolyn “Gwen” Dylan is a 20-something gravedigger in an eco-friendly cemetery. Once a month she must eat a human brain to keep from losing her memories, but in the process she becomes consumed with the thoughts and personality of the dead person – until she eats her next brain. She sets out to fulfill the dead person’s last request, solve a crime or right a wrong.

Our zombie girl detective is joined by a radical supporting cast: her best friend Eleanor, who happens to be a swinging ’60s ghost, a posse of paintball blasting vampires, a smitten were-dog and a hot but demented mummy.

I almost skipped writing a review on this book because I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it. It took me, like, half the book to get invested in it at all. Beginnings are sometimes slow, so I’ll let it pass as a non-issue, especially because half a graphic novel isn’t actually all that much story wise. After that boring beginning part, though, we start getting more of the meat of the story and it becomes less of a book to finish and more of a book to enjoy.

The story is rather unique. I’ve never read anything like it before. There’s zombies, vampires, ghosts, et cetera but not even close to the normal way they’re usually displayed in movies and books. I feel like this book has a solid basis for how all these paranormal creatures come to be and that makes me like it a lot and want to continue with the series. Trust me, they’re not present for the reasons you think they are. Not in this book/series, at least.

The story is told through the point of view of Gwen, who is, if you haven’t guessed already, a zombie. She has to eat a brain a month to keep from turning into a shambling, mindless zombie like the ones we are all accustomed to. That’s where it’s really interesting. Our culture isn’t used to seeing intelligent zombies (well, maybe yours is, but mine isn’t), but Gwen still seems very much human with a weird predicament. “Seems” being the keyword because she is, in fact, not a living human anymore. (No plot twists there, friends. Sorry.) Gwen’s a pretty likable character and I’m really looking forward to seeing what else happens in her life.

There’s also Ellie, the ghost, who died several decades in the past. I love, love, love Ellie and seriously hope there will be lots more of her in future books. Because even though Gwen is cool, Ellie is totally my favorite. She’s so sweet. Not to mention I love her hair and all the clothes she’s always dressed in. Sigh.

As for the artwork, it’s what you’d expect in a typical color graphic novel. It’s pretty, but nothing really out of the ordinary. This novel is really great about keeping it realistic and non-sexualized in the graphics… except for, of course, when they add in the gratuitous changing scene where we basically see Gwen naked. I’m not sure why it had to be so explicit (for a book, at least), but it is and the age group this graphic novel is suitable for was knocked up several years because of it. (And guys, I’m far from a prude. The nudity is nothing to someone my age. I mean it’s really not that bad unless you’re, like, 13 years old.)

As a whole I’m impressed with where this series seems to be going and I really hope it’ll keep my interest into the other books. If you like stories about zombies (or other paranormal creatures) I advise you to give this series a try. It really has a very interesting take on the living dead situation.

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Also, here are a couple illustrations from the book. The one on the right is my favorite from everything.

Art by Michael Allred

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