Book Review: Silver Zombie by Carole Nelson Douglas

355 pp.
 Silver Zombie: Delilah Street: Paranormal InvestigatorSilver Zombie takes Delilah Street back to Kansas where she discovers some of the secrets of her past with the help of her boyfriend Ric and his formidable mother, Helena Troy. (Douglas has a penchant for “clever” names.) She also ends up tangling with her weather-witch nemesis and dangerous figures from Ric’s past. She also has to deal with the developments and transformations that had taken place in Vampire Sunrise (and so does Ric, for that matter).

This is another fast paced book that throws a lot of details out at high velocity.Delilah (and her imaginary friend Irma’s) forties-era detective story banter is still a rough fit for the subject matter, which delves into situations involving sexual abuse, assault, and medical malpractice of a very extreme and horrifying variety. Some of the scenes involved are “triggering” and extremely horrifying.

There are also some questionable moments featuring Native American character stereotypes, and some painfully embarrassing “Latin Lover” tropes. (I had to put down the book because I was embarrassed for the characters.) I think they are intended to be played for humor aspects, but they tend to fall flat given the other darker themes in the story.  

In this book, we get more information on the mysterious Lilith. (The look alike whose on-screen autopsy led Delilah to Vegas on her initial quest to find out about her in the first place.) Some of the information comes from detective work on the part of Ric, Delilah and eventually Ric’s foster mother, and some of it is word from the horse’s mouth. It turns out that somehow, in some way Lilith…is actually Delilah. How this works is not explained as yet, but it isimplied that this is another secret ability of Delilah’s, and it is the magical version of Dissociative Identity Disorder as a result of some severe trauma.

Iliked this book over all, aside from some questionable situations involving Delilah and her relationship with Snow, and her relationship with Ric. (Delilah tends to be more than a little dishonest in her interactions, and I find that to be an extreme turn-off in a character.) There were also some questionable situations between Delilah and Ric’s foster mother, but this hovered in the realms of “I am not sure this is a valid treatment plan for a young woman who is the survivor of extreme abuse.” The questionable situation centered on the confrontation between a doctor who had illegally and unethically performed a specific medical procedure on Delilah when she was twelve years old. Helena Troy uses a post-Millennium talent to interrogate the doctor who had performed the procedure–while Delilah was present. The only thing that made the scene endurable was in-story objections from Ric.  

Despite the various caveats, I did enjoy reading the book, and recommend it for anyone following the series.


Specialnote: Has anyone actually tried any of the mixed drink recipes? How did theytaste?

Specialnote two: I actually have no familiarity with mixed drinks.


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Filed under Carole Nelson Douglas, fantasy, mystery, Review: Book, urban

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