Book Review: The Zombie Story by M.M. Shelley

  • Review: The Zombie Story
  • Series: The Chronicles of Orlando
  • Author: M.M. Shelley
  • Release Date: Published May 10th 2011
  • Received From: Bewitching Book Tours

The Zombie Story Synopsis:


The Zombie Story is the first novella in a young adult series.

Unfolding on the streets of Los Angeles is a new breed of monster…
Orlando, fresh from the mid west, arrives at his new high school on his Harley Davidson.
All he wants is to make it through the day, and begin his training as a Zombie Hunter.
But someone has different plans for him.

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Zombie Story Excerpt:

They rode by Union Station headed south towards North Broadway. Ruben came to a quick stop without signaling his intent. He had pulled up to a bakery.

“Why are we stopping here? You hungry are something?” Orlando asked as he parked alongside him.

Removing his helmet Ruben responded, “Or something. This place can get pretty crazy. You’ll see.”

The place was busy, filled with tourists who made their way up and down the streets of Chinatown.

Ruben and Orlando began to walk away from their motorcycles, Ruben paused and without looking back, he raised his right arm and pushed a button on a keychain. The noise of two beeps sounded securing his ride.

“Seriously?” Orlando asked as they continued forward.

Ruben ignored the question, instead he pointed out a small shop that sold herbs and teas. “This place is known for its underground fighting. I think it would be a good place to test you.”

“Underground fighting? In that place?” He asked uncertain about whether or not Ruben was being straight with him.

“Yeah, come on I’ll show you,” an eager smile on his face.

Ruben entered the shop first; the door bell chimed alerting his presence. Orlando was hesitant to follow. Through the huge windows Orlando noticed that no one was at the front counter.  Again the door chimed as Orlando strode in, not quiet sure what was really going on.

Ruben headed into the backroom, “Looks like they’re all downstairs already.” He came to a stop in a small hallway, which oddly held no doorways. Kneeling down Ruben removed a piece of board that was covering a narrow opening. Looking intently at Orlando he asked, “How’s your magick? Are you a classified novice or mercurial?”

Orlando didn’t know the answer to that, for he hadn’t been tested yet so he said, “Guess we’ll find out.”

“Fair enough,” Ruben was about to lead the way down when he was stopped by Orlando’s question.

“Who am I going to be fighting?”

“Not who, it’s what. People like to see zombies fight each other and bet on them.”

“Oh,” Orlando thought that was the craziest thing he had ever heard.

“Yeah, it’s totally awesome.” The sound of excitement in his voice was clear. “It’s how I met Maxwell; he showed up one day and asked me if I wanted to hunt these things down. Said I’d be good at it, because, you know, I kicked their asses in the ring.”

“Wait a minute; you went one on one with zombies?” That took Orlando by surprise.

With a grin on his face he said, “All the time, it was easy money.” Becoming serious he added, “Just don’t embarrass me man, these guys here, they know me.” With that said he led the way down the stairs and into a tunnel.

They could hear the noise from the fighting at the end of the tunnel. The sounds of bone hitting bone, the grunting and the shouts of the gamers placing bets on the fights, greeted them as they made the way down the tunnel.

“Yo!” Ruben shouted. “How’s it going?”  He asked the man at the entrance to a cavern. It looked like a basement. There were crates stacked up along one side of the wall. Several tunnels had been cut into the basement leading who knew where. There was no traditional looking ring in the basement. Just an area that was empty and it looked like there was dried blood on the ground.

“You in today?” the man asked. “We got some good ones.”

“Yeah? That’s awesome!” Ruben called Orlando over, “This here is my friend Orlando. My money’s on him.”

“For real?” the man asked uncertain. He looked Orlando over, not sure there was a fighter in him.

“Dude, you’re asking me? You do remember all the wins I have under my belt?” He took a few steps forward to assert his statement.

The man began to laugh uncomfortably, “Let’s put him in.”

Ruben turned back to Orlando a huge grin on his face as he asked, “You didn’t eat this morning did you?”


Interview M.M. Shelley:

Thank you so much for doing the zombie interview with My Seryniti!


The Book Stuff:

Tell us a little about The Zombie Story.

Thank you for having me over today! The Zombie Story is a YA set in the city of Los Angeles and it follows Orlando Drake as he discovers he’s moved into a zombie infested city.

How did you get this to be different from all the other zombie books out there?

I added a little extra element: Magic.

Does your book reflect your view on zombies?

Not at all. It’s an adventure story which does not follow the traditional zombie lore.

I think it’s very interesting that we have, firstly a world that isn’t dystopian but still has zombies and secondly people can use magic! How did you get these two seemingly very different concepts into one book without it becoming convoluted?

Who doesn’t like magic? I always have, and I thought this was a great opportunity to write magic into an adventure story. I try not to have magic be the primary focus of the story; it’s more of an added bonus which adds to it.

I know this is a zombie book, but might we see more romance between Orlando and Elodie in book two? 😉

There is romance in book two, but not between Orlando and Elodie. I will share this with you, it will happen.

From your book: What’s your favorite quote?

Orlando’s grandfather spoke up, adding, “This here is my old friend, Maxwell. We used to hunt Zombies together.”


The Zombie Stuff:

In your novella, The Zombie Story, your zombies are still semi-intelligent, would this reflect your views on how zombies would be or were you just have fun with creating a new zombie attitude?

I had a lot of fun creating a new zombie attitude and I thought it made them more dangerous.

Do you think a zombiepocalypse is possible?

I sure do! Anything is possible.

If there were an outbreak, what would be your first reaction?

Well, I do have a black belt in Kung Fu and I do have several types of martial arts weapons.

You can only choose a weapon currently in your house. What would you choose?

The Chinese sword that I have.

Would you venture away from your home or fortify and hunker down?

Good question. I think at first I’d stay home and then I’d venture away to access the damage and see if I could help in any way.

Fav Stuff:

Favorite weapon of choice?

Martial arts Staff

Favorite food?


Favorite zombie book and movie? Why?

I’m currently reading Monster Island a Zombie Novel by David Wellington. So far I’ve found it to be a great zombie story filled with interesting and delightful characters. I’d say that this is my favorite because I like the take on the genre.

Do you write using a computer or the old fashioned pen to paper?

I’m a fan of both methods.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what’s on your playlist!?

I normally do have music playing, but for this story I did not have a playlist.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?


What is your favorite word?

I have three: To be continued.

What is your least favorite word?


Do you talk to your characters?

I would if I could get a word in edge wise.

Please tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.

I have been writing since childhood and it’s a form of expression that I have always enjoyed. I enjoy traveling and I use the cities and places that I have been to as the backdrops of my stories because I like to share these places with others.


My thoughts:

Being a novella you would think getting everything that is in that synopsis would make this convoluted. But it really hasn’t. This book starts off straight away and you’re getting to know Orlando and the world around him. Next thing you know, Orlando is out fighting zombies!

Now, this is a different zombie book. It’s not like all the other zombie books out there. Somehow M.M. Shelley was able to create a world that isn’t apocalyptic or dystopian and yet, there are still zombies. Most people just don’t know about them!

And I was also surprised that I could not tell exactly who was working against Orlando! You don’t know who to trust. I absolutely love when I can’t figure out a plot, or a major plot line, it makes reading a book that much more fun!

The one downside was the dialogue. Although the plot and the actual reading was quite easy, so easy in fact that I looked to see how slow I was reading and I was already 45% through, but the speech is sometimes disjointed. Not enough to take away from the plot, just enough to distract every once in a while. And for some reason it took me quite a while to feel a really good connection with Orlando. Although I did by the end, but again this is a novella so not as much time can be taken to get to really know and fall in love with the characters. Honestly I am very curious what is going to happen in the second.

Also, kind of a side note… I love these covers! They are brilliant and very intriguing. I would pick this book up just for the cover not even knowing zombies were inside. But then the zombie part of it would have me sold! 😀

About the author:

MMShelleyM.M. Shelley is a storyteller, word smith and dreamer. She has traveled the world extensively in search of the magic which is often overlooked in every day life. M.M. Shelley is a native of southern California, and a student of mythology from which she gets much inspiration. Visit M.M. Shelley: |

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