Science fiction and fantasy                                            

iZombie: uVampire

by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred


uVampire is the second part of the iZombie series, but it includes quite a lot of background from the first instalment to remind readers of the story so far, so much so that if you picked it up first you might not realise it's a sequel. We learn a bit more about Gwen Dylan's past before she became a zombie, and her friends Scott and Ellie also have episodes that explain how they became a ghost and a were-terrier respectively. This time Gwen's latest brain meal doesn't leave her with clues for a murder mystery, but it does leave her with a lot more clues about her previous life. The brain contains the memories of an old woman, and as Gwen digests it she absorbs the woman's memories. The old woman wants peace, and she demands a reconciliation with her family. But doing this means Gwen has to reach out to people who think she's dead, and to those she left behind.

Meanwhile someone is stealing bodies from the morgue. There's a new monster in town, the creepy Galatea, and she's intimidating enough to control other members of the undead. The white-clad monster hunters are preparing for a confrontation with Eugene's vampires. But whilst the hunter Horatio has no compunction about staking the undead he doesn't know that Gwen is a zombie. They're dating, but will their relationship last after he discovers what she is?

Scott's estranged grandfather is on his death bed, and it seems as if Gwen's old woman isn't the only soul who needs to patch things up with its family. But for Gwen her memories of her old life are receding, and the monthly brain she eats hasn't been enough to help her keep all her memories. She has already forgotten how she died. The mummy Amon has offered her a solution, but it's one she finds morally repugnant. Gwen may be undead, but she doesn't want to become monstrous in every way.

This is a very light story, particularly since death is rarely the end in a series in which being an undead monster is the norm for most characters. There aren't quite as many puns or wisecracks as there are in the first book, but it's still quite chirpy and fun. The biggest problem is that the story doesn't progress all that much. There are a few revelations, but the main characters remain more or less where they were at the start. I felt that the creators were teasing the story out very slowly, so the pace seems sedate.

The artwork is clear and bright, but it's not quite to the standard of Dead To The World, the first volume. This is mostly because it lacks some detail. This is most apparent in the final section, drawn by Gilbert Hernandez as a guest artist. Hernandez draws in a simple style with lots of solid blocks of gaudy colours, but visually it's not remotely as appealing as Michael Allred's art.

The characters are likeable, and I appreciated the way the monsters often turn out to have some good in them whilst the "white knight" monster hunters aren't necessarily squeaky clean. However the pace left me a little impatient with the story.

5th February 2013

Book Details

Year: 2011

Categories: Books


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3 star rating

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