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Down Home Zombie Blues

The Down Home Zombie Blues - Linnea Sinclair

I've really liked the books by Sinclair that I've read so I thought this one sounded promising, it didn't live up to the others. The idea was neat but the details were irritating.


An alien who is the leader of a group of soldiers who hunt "zombies", in this case alien bug things that eat people's bodily fluids by chewing on their heads, is sent to Earth. Now that's fine, sounds like it will be funny and interesting. But it turns out that English, modern English at that, is almost identical to an alien language, even the written form can be understood by these aliens. So you get some lost in translation bits but mostly they can communicate fine. And it's so far fetched that it just threw me out of the story and I never got back in. 

Language is incredibly complex and can change rapidly and the idea that an alien civilization would develop an identical language. Because apparently English can just generate spontaneously in another species on a completely separate planet without any connecting cultures or history or common root words or anything is such bullshit.


Add in things like the cop who ends up helping these aliens hunt their zombies fires a gun in his home in a busy residential area (with very nosy neighbors established as part of the story) and yet nobody calls in gunshots to 911. It wouldn't have taken much to smooth over these details and make them make sense, hell I would have been delighted if some sort of translator device had been used, anything would have been more believable. Sentient mushrooms you wear as a hat that translate via telepathy would have been easier to take. That would have solved 90 percent of my issues with this story but no, modern English is apparently not exclusive to Earth. Even words like zombie that have a very specific meaning and cultural origin are somehow shared with a species on the other side of the Universe.


If you are not bothered by stuff like this Down Home Zombie Blues might be a satisfying read but it ruined it for me. Suspension of disbelief only gets you so far.