Formats available: ebook, audiobook
Genre: paranormal romance, urban fantasy
Series: London Undead #1
Length: 89 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Date Released: June 24, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance
Few people walk the streets of London since the zombie outbreak, but that’s not an issue for Seth. As a werewolf, he can handle himself and save humans reckless enough to take a nighttime stroll. While on patrol he comes across a group of people under attack. The one woman brave enough to take a stand against the zombies catches his eye—and not just because of her way with a gun. Learning the beautiful woman is homeless and fends for herself only intensifies his urge to protect and care for her.
Maisie can’t help but admit that she’s attracted to her werewolf rescuer. She’s drawn to Seth’s strength and ferocity, and finds herself opening up to him in ways she never imagined, even though she’s determined to not rely on Seth or anyone else. She doesn’t want another person to get hurt—or die—for her sake. She has enough scars, physical and emotional, from the last time…
But when Seth realizes something is drawing the zombies to Maisie, there may be nothing he can do to save her…
Bite Me is a very cool little novella, with some neat worldbuilding and a sweet/hot romance at its center.
It’s also gritty, post-apocalyptic and absolutely a tease for the next books in the series.
There are lots of stories where the vampires come out of the coffin or the werewolves stop hiding behind the full moon, but this is the first one I’ve seen where it feels like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies got thrown into the mix, and I mean that in a totally good way (I loved the first one, but the joke went on too long).
In Schnyder’s dangerous new world, an absolute pandemic of zombies is hunting London in mindless, flesh-eating packs. No one knows how the plague started, but now there seem to be only two options; you run or you fight.
What little law and order is left to hunt the zombies has been augmented by the London werewolf pack. Weres are immune to the zombie virus. So are fae and vampires, but those supernatural creatures have yet to expose their existence in the light of day (or night, as the case may be).
So the werewolves are attempting to protect what’s left of the city’s inhabitants, along with the help of the police. Most of society’s infrastructure is pretty much gone. The people who remain inside the quarantine zone hang onto life by their bloody fingernails.
Maisie operates a veterinary clinic. A surprising number of insane idiots come from America and other less-infected places to go “big game hunting” for zombies in London, bringing their pets and their hunting dogs.
Seth is the alpha of the London werewolf pack. Their worlds shouldn’t connect. But when Seth finds Maisie calmly shooting down a zombie horde in Hyde Park with pistols in both hands, he’s intrigued. He likes her practicality, and he’s appreciative of the excellence of her aim.
He intervenes, not because she needs help as because he can’t resist her blend of death and moxie. He thinks he has all the time in the world to court her the way she should be.
Then he discovers that the zombies have not only evolved, but that they are targeting her.
Escape Rating B: I always want more worldbuilding. This novella is both short and the first book in the series, so as much as I enjoyed it, I kept wondering how the zombie plague manifested, when, and what happened in the first few years of reactions. Also what was the reaction when the werewolves pitched in to patrol.
I didn’t say “how the zombie plague started” because people don’t see to know that. I can accept that it might not be known, and that part of the longer story arc is the hunt for both cause and cure.
The London that is being overrun by the zombies feels like it is dying. It almost felt like the story was steampunk or alternate Victorian, not because there is steam technology but because life is reverting back to historic patterns as the standard of living falls precipitously.
There isn’t a lot of time for character development, but there are hints. Both Seth and Maisie carry deep emotional scars, and neither of them is used to relying on others for assistance. They wake something up in each other, mostly because neither of them wants to need another being, ever again, and yet they are both achingly lonely. Two practical minded, independent people who are perfect made to face danger together.
I’m glad I started this series after three books are out; it means that I can dive into the next one (Sing for the Dead) right away!