Review of Tomes of the Dead: “Way of the Barefoot Zombie” by Jasper Bark
Way of the Barefoot Zombie is a modern day voodoo zombie tale with some interesting twists. As it starts out, we are introduced to Benjamin and Tatyana, two trust fund kids who have helped create “The Zombie Liberation Front”, which is an organization focused on walking in the footsteps of the noble monsters, or zombies, of Haitian Lore. But voodoo zombies are real in this tale and Benjamin and Tatyana are off on a mission to free a group of them being used by a wealthy entrepreneur, Doc Papa, who runs a program for the super rich, where they learn the Way of the Barefoot Zombie. In other words, these power brokers are are being trained to act like zombies, who care little about anything except their ravenous goals and they fear nothing. In a screwball way, this book is variation on Z.E.O.: How to Get A(Head) in Business (Zombie Series), where the goal is to become much like a zombie and destroy all your competition in business.
Of course, that is just how the story starts out. As Benjamin and Tatyana discover more secrets of the island and try to work their sabotage, they are introduced to Merriam, a powerful voodoo priestess whose intent is to bring Doc Papa down and save the zombies herself, but for her own reasons. There are plenty of twists and turns with lots of strange magic floating around.
The zombies in this story are voodoo zombies but the author has kept the hunger for living flesh as a part of their routine. You can act like a zombie around them and not be devoured, but once you start acting human, you are toast.
The story picks up speed the further it goes, with quite a bit of voodoo magic flying around. The main characters went from mildly unlikeable spoiled rich kids to legitimate crusaders on a mission. Honestly, after about 100 pages I was not all that intrigued by the story, but another hundred pages into this 311 page book and I found the story to be much more intriguing. There is some gore and some really cringe worthy stuff on these pages(to walk the path of the zombie, you have to act like one and DO what one would do), but the zombie violence is really at a minimum here. Still, the story worked for me because it became interesting and fun to see all the voodoo magic at work and we had the chance to unravel a mystery at the same time. The author obviously has a fascination for voodoo magic and legends, because he is quite knowledgeable on the subject. A traditional Romero zombie fan might find this story to not be to their tastes, but I can always enjoy the occasional voodoo spice to add to my zombie fascination now and then, and this book did the trick.
Again, it starts out slow but as it moves along, the story became a much more fun and interesting read.
Way of the Barefoot Zombie can be found at Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Tomes-Dead-Way-Barefoot-Zombie/dp/1906735069/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274809570&sr=1-1