Title: The Color of Fear
Authors: Billy Phillips & Jenny Nissenson
Series: Once Upon a Zombie
Date Read: February 8
Format: Hardcover from my shelf
She’s vulnerable. Phobic. And fourteen-years-old. Ever since Caitlin Fletcher’s mom mysteriously vanished (or left?) four years ago, Caitlin has become riddled with irrational fears. Her life takes a turn towards the bizarre when she winds up in a strange new universe where she discovers that there’s one thing more frightening than zombies and panic attacks—the truth!
Confession time: I don’t like zombies. In fact, it is probably one of the only fads that I haven’t really gotten into over the last decade. Vampires? No problem. Werewolves? Fantastic. Fairy-tale retellings? Give me all of them. But zombies I try to steer clear of. However, in one of those monthly subscription book boxes I receive, this book was in it and I decided I might as well give it a try before I get rid of it. So I did. And let me tell you that is probably five hours of my life I’m not going to get back.
Don’t get me wrong, the zombies weren’t bad. Even the idea behind the book wasn’t bad – basically all the storybook characters are real and the Queen of Hearts – with the help of a mysterious dude named the Enchanter – turned everyone into zombies because she thought they were going to rebel against her. The only person who can save them is – of course – the girl who is afraid of EVERYTHING. And there is where the problem lies. Caitlin as a narrator is very annoying. She’s supposed to save the storybook world from becoming permanent zombies but she’s in the middle of having a panic attack every five pages. Girl. Get a grip.
Then there is the problem of the storybook characters themselves. Every character you know pretty much makes an appearance – or at least is mentioned – to the point where it’s just a toss up of characters. Even when you’re introduced to the princess zombie brigade – Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty – you don’t really know all that much about them other than what you already knew from storybooks. Which is kind of lame. If you’re going to do a twist, at least add some personal touches to the characters. And then, if I remember right from my creative writing class in high school you’re not supposed to be overly abundant with exclamation marks! You’re supposed to use them sparingly! Not! Every! Five! Sentences!
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. I didn’t completely hate it. But I didn’t completely love it either. There are just too many storybook characters thrown at you and no real twists thrown in either. The one lone imaginative character – Jack – turns out to be Jack anf the Beanstalk which was just a major letdown. I’m not sure if I can stomach another journey to this world.
Bookshelf worthy? You might be better off being attacked by zombies than reading this.