Ever After

Lerner. Sept. 2020. 288p. Tr $33.32. ISBN 9781541583924; pap. $16.99. ISBN 9781728412924.
Gr 7 Up–Weimar, Germany, is protected from raging hordes of zombie by a barricade; those assigned to work shifts must keep the fence in working order. Teenage Vivi stays at the mental hospital, where she gets special attention, since she reminds the warden of her daughter. But even the warden can’t keep her from serving a shift at the barricades, where she and a younger girl, Isabelle, are assigned to Eva’s team. Tough Eva is unafraid of zombie killing and decidedly uninterested in being a part of a group. When the barricade is breached, both Eva and Isabelle are bitten; in a gruesome sequence, Isabelle dies, but Eva conceals her bite. She and Vivi try to make it to the allegedly safer town of Jena, and they find themselves on the same cargo train out of the city. The teens have to work through past grief, and though they are different, they manage to connect with each other. Ideally suited for this dark fairy tale, Vieweg’s art is dreamy and pastel, save for the splatters of blood and the horrors of nighttime and attacks by the undead. First published in Germany, with a film adaptation, this is a unique addition to the zombie apocalypse genre.
VERDICT Both thoughtful and terrifying, and an unexpected take on a familiar premise.

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