Review: Zombified, Episode 1: Wooneyville by Matt Di Spirito

Matt Di Spirito’s opening novella is an action packed, gore filled tour de force. It introduces Joey, the main character who is a sort of ‘everyman’, a chain smoking, beer swilling kind of guy who just happens to work at a gun store and have a nurse for a girlfriend.

While this may already sound like a bad movie plot that would be full of clichés and stereotypes, Zombified is not like one would expect.

The action starts with Joey’s girlfriend Dana calling him at home when the ‘freaky shit’ starts happening. From that point on its somewhat similar to Tom Twyker’s 1998 ‘Run, Lola Run’ as Joey has to make it from his apartment to the hospital then to his parent’s house all before Dana is infected or he gets eaten by the hordes of zombies now roaming Wooneyville.

The storyline doesn’t take itself too seriously and neither should the reader. Zombified is more of an action story then some kind of in depth look at the zombie infection like other works within this genre. Never a dull moment, the action is relentless with Joey literally shooting, stabbing, slicing, running over and shooting any undead that gets between him and his objective, rescuing Dana. Running around at night, engaging zombies in any manner available to him, Joey wrecks cars, lops heads and blows away the undead at every turn.

Inanimate characters like Joey’s truck, Bad Betty and his righteous shotgun nicknamed Zeus because it brings on the thunder coupled with his shotgun toting mother and triple-D bust girlfriend all add to the ambience masterfully crafted by Di Spirito.

None of the characters come across as cartoony or one dimensional. They are all developed to where the reader can imagine such people in the real world and how they would react.

A couple if minor issues that could have been resolved are when Dana gets bit and then somehow recovers with no explanation as to how and the continued use and reference to a ‘clip’ in regards to Joey reloading what is either a Glock 20 or 29 due to the use of 10mm. The bite incident could be resolved in the 2nd book as to Dana’s remarkable recovery without becoming infected. Joey, being an employee of a gun store would know that there are no more clips in use in modern firearms since the M1 Garand and Glock uses a magazine. This faux pas is really a minor issue that most readers won’t catch on to but the recovery of Dana does need to be explained in more detail.

Fans of the undead genre know the canon rule, you get bit you become one of them. With all the reimagining of several other genres, it’s nice to read a ‘standard’ zombie infection novel where the undead aren’t Olympic class runners, don’t have super strength, use tools or drive cars. Zombified is a thrill ride from start to finish and I for one look forward to the next installment of this series.

Available on Amazon.

About J.R. Jackson

James ‘Remo’ Jackson is a former US Navy Chief Petty Officer who received the nickname ‘Remo’ from a service buddy not from the popular Destroyer series of action novels. With a few non-fiction works to his credit, short manuals and procedural text books, he is currently a roving reviewer for in the service he developed an interest in the zombie/horror genre and was disappointed at the lack of novels and films that contained realistic and accurate military action. This inspired him to create his own zombie apocalyptic novel that is currently an ‘epic’ work in progress that has a military thematic element to it.A certified wilderness/outdoor survival instructor and disaster mitigation educator, he can normally be found outdoors teaching clueless people the fine art of survival in less than pristine conditions.