Thursday, April 19, 2012

Shakespeare Undead (Shakespeare Undead #1) by Lori Handeland

Something wicked this way comes . . . and it keeps coming and coming and coming. . . .

William Shakespeare was one of history's greatest writers, a master of words with a body of work that is truly impressive . . . some may say a little too impressive for a single man to accomplish in one lifetime. Perhaps, as many have speculated, he had assistance. Or perhaps the explanation is more . . . unusual.

Who was William Shakespeare?

Who was the Dark Lady of the Sonnets?

Why are the undead stalking the alleyways of London?

And can they be stopped?

Something is definitely rotten in the state of Denmark.

So brace yourself for a wild ride through twisted streets and shadowed graveyards of Elizabethan London, where you'll discover how the Bard got his Bite.
I have Zombie Isand on the review pile and thought I'd better read the first book. Something told me I would be better off reading these in order (don't faint). So, off I went to the library. Of course the person who had checked it out hadn't brought it back and it was a few weeks overdue. So, I had to wait for the interlibrary loan to come through. What does this have to do with the book? Not much, just wanted to remind you to return your library books. Someone may need it for an upcoming review! ;D

This book takes Shakespeare and makes light of him and his works. So, staunch Shakespearians beware. You must have a sense of humor for this book. The story was a mixture of Shakespeare in Love and paranormal elements. Will is a vampire who has the ability to raise the dead. Kate is someone who was taught to kill zombies from her nanny. Their love story does follow the movie closely and in fact I could see many of the movie elements I recognized in my head. Actually, that sort of made it fun for me.

The parts I didn't care for in the book was the mixture of language. Will would speak in his poetic form but would often suddenly switch to "normal" speech. There was also a back and forth POV between Will and Kate and sometimes it was jarring as you would forget who was speaking for a minute. I had to reread some chapters over because of this. My last complaint is the mixture of contemporary film within his play ideas. It just didn't make sense to me, but I did see where the author was going with those segments. However, I feel it would have been best to have stuck with the plays he wrote at this time.

I give this book 3 stars. Despite my complaints I still found it entertaining. If nothing else, it did make me want to see Shakespeare in Love again. At least this one has a better ending!

(YaY! I finally got my first book up for this challenge!)


  1. Oh it sounds like a nice mix, and always so great to read something with zombies! lol I agree it's sometimes better to read the books in order, (I really don't know why). I hope it will improve witht the second book.

  2. Sounds like an interesting read though I'm not too sure how I'd get along with this mix of languages.

  3. Overdue library books drive me up a wall. Not just from a library employee perspective, but someone who has been waiting and waiting for a book to arrive. So, I totally understand the rant. Totally justified. :D

    While I love Shakespeare and the movie "Shakespeare in Love" (seen it several times and own it), I don't think I jump the big paranormal hurdle, especially the zombie part.

  4. I haven't heard of this one before! The switch from poetic speech to "normal" speech would definitely take some getting used to I think, but I usually enjoy books where a sense of humor is required:) Thanks for the fantastic review (and library book PSA) Melissa!

  5. I have not heard of this before! I love zombies and shakespeare, so SCORE! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Eh, I am not convinced either way that this would be a book for me.
    But nice review :=D

  7. Oh I like this idea! :D Sounds like a fun read. :) Thank you for the review. And I'm shocked you are willingly and aware of reading the books IN order. ;D LOL!

  8. LMAO!!!

    *stares guilty at pile of over due library books on the coffee table*

    So, dear old Willy as a vampire, eh? Why does that thought thrill me to no end? I think you are right about the whole sticking to the script, so to speak. It constantly baffles me when authors feel the need to go into over ambiguous territory. Why?

  9. I legitimately hang onto my library books - with authorized renewals, mind you!

    Even if it has a vampire twist, I still hate having anachronisms in my historical novels. The whole thing should be written in iambic pentameter!

  10. This book sounds AWESOME though I've never heard of it! Shakespeare is totally UNDEAD :P

    Awesome review, Melissa! ♥

  11. I really like this author, her nightcreatures series is very good. But I also really dislike reading about zombies. So, please tell me, how high is the gore account?

    1. Actually not too bad. They turn to ash like in Buffy when dispatched.

  12. OMG! Did you just complete your zombie goal for the year!

    I am so proud! So very proud!

    I still feel like you need to read more!

  13. I am not a huge Zombie fan, but this is an interesting twist and I just might have to check it out. Great review.
    - FABR Steph

  14. I always return my library books on time and YAY for not starting in the middle of a series! I haven't even heard of this one, maybe b/c I'm not a Zombie fan. (don't send them after me)! I barely remember Shakespeare in love but I don't think it had an HEA did it? And why the heck does Shakespeare need zombies if he's a vampire? These are questions I know are probably answered in the book, but I think I'll just wonder about them b/c as I said, I don't like Zombies and the sequel, Zombie Island sounds like it is all about them!!

    Love your review, funny first paragraph Melissa!!



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