I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
After being bitten by a shapeshifting she-wolf, a young woman who was hired to animate the dead for a zombie cruise finds herself instead working to find a cure for the human-extinction virus before it can spread beyond the point of no return in author Nzondi’s “Lipstick Asylum”.
The Scream Teens are hired to raise the dead as the necro-tainment for a zombie cruise, and the eighteen-year-old animator, Cozy Coleman, is bitten by a shapeshifting she-wolf. To Cozy’s surprise, she survives and with the aid of her friends, helps the government stop a human-extinction virus from spreading. Unfortunately, Cozy uncovers a secret so haunting, that her death is only the beginning of her problems.
This was a brilliant deep dive into the dark fantasy genre. The complex and engaging evolution of protagonist Cozy was a huge draw for the narrative. Although struggling with her own deep-seated issues, including grief and a complex relationship with her mother, the strength and courage for which Cozy throws herself into the path of danger to try and protect not only the people around her but those she loves as well makes her such a beloved protagonist, even when she struggles with her moment of darkness that threatens to consume her.
Yet it was the atmosphere and shifting perspectives that really sold this narrative. The horror elements of the narrative added a depth of mythos to the novel, while the vacation setting makes this feel like a blockbuster film waiting to happen. The way the author was able to shift locations and settings around Cozy as her story progressed really spoke to both the general discussion surrounding mental health and the shifting nature of reality and perspective as a whole, keeping readers on the edge of their seats as the novel progresses.
Thrilling, entertaining, and action-packed, author Nzondi’s “Lipstick Asylum” is a memorable and brilliant dark fantasy and horror read! The twists and turns Cozy’s story takes, and the captivating mythology that drives this YA read will have readers hanging off of the author’s every word. With twists that include calls to some of the author’s previous work, readers will be eager to read more of this incredible author’s projects. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
About the Author
Nzondi (Ace Antonio Hall) was born Acemandese Nzondi Hall in Queens, New York on July 4th. Hall received his BFA from C. W. Post, Long Island University. His science fiction/horror work, Oware Mosaic (Omnium Gatherum, September 2019), is the 2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Winner for Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel. Hall is a two-time Honorable Mention winner of the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award. He is also the author of the novel, Confessions of Sylva Slasher, (Montag Press, April 2013) and a non-fiction book, Lord of the Flies: Fitness for Writers (Omnium Gatherum, April 2017).