“The Robusta Incident” by Jennifer Fales (Amazon Digital Services, 2015)

Robusta Incident
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The term “corporate zombie” has become a cliche at this point, overused and in some cases misnomered. So, Jennifer Fales decided to write a book about it to the ultimate extreme. The Robusta Incident gives a whole new meaning to the term “weird,” as in this is a weird book where a lot of weird stuff happens, but then if you like all things weird, you’re going to enjoy The Robusta Incident.

Howard Danishefsky is feeling pretty low in his life. Living in a dead-end apartment that gives him little joy other than being a place to crash. His boss, Melinda Carpenter, is an ex, who gives him a really hard time every day, and he really can’t stand, but at the same time she’s very beautiful in all the right places, and he can’t really admit to himself he still has the hots for her. Meanwhile, he works as a chemist for the Robusta Corporation, an international coffee conglomerate, and feels he’s going nowhere face. A dead-end job for a dead-end company in a dead-end world.

His father is a renowned astrophysicist he’s never met, who is an important member in the Consortium of Evil. And then, there’s his Russian mother, who is long dead, but shortly after she passed, he started hearing her in his head, and now, she never fails to give plenty of pointless advice and criticism throughout his day. He’s also a heavy drinker and, after work, seeks to get completely sloshed as quick as possible, and wake up in his crappy bed in the morning, feeling like something that shouldn’t be alive.

So Howard decides to throw everything to the wind and try something different. You see he’s concocted this strange serum that he starts putting in the coffee that everyone drinks at work. Each day, he adds more, and the employees blindly drink more, as they become slower, more lethargic, and spend chunks of time just standing around doing nothing as if in a trance. His main target is his boss, and ex, who he is happy to turn into a zombie and control.||But then, a voodoo queen finds out what’s going on and gets involved, as does an aging professor and someone who seems like he should just back into the coffin he apparently came from. As if that isn’t enough, the corporate zombies start doing what zombies tend to do: eat people; and they’re starting to eye him up like a tasty morsel. Maybe he’s gone a little too far this time? But he’s waiting for that call from the Consortium of Evil any day now.

Readers get to experience a week in the work life of the very strange Howard Danishefsky. The Robusta Incident at times gets pretty repetitive, as we experience Howard at home waking up, getting to work, working, then going home from work, drinking and going to bed over and over. While the author was wanting to show these five days, the book could’ve used some editing out of some of these repetitive scenes that seem to go nowhere and aren’t really necessary. But weirdness and the need for editing down aside, Fales has a very distinctive voice with her character and the story which will certainly catch the eye of many a reader and hook them till the end.

Originally written on August 3rd, 2015 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Robusta Incident from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus: A Breathers Christmas Carol” by S G Browne (Gallery Books, 2012)


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The bestselling author of the hilariously entertaining zombie book, Breathers, has a Christmas treat for you: a zombie holiday novella featuring some of the characters you’ve come to love from Breathers.  It’s a Christmas miracle like no other; one you won’t soon forget.

Andy Warner is having problems.  Other than being a zombie, he’s also a test subject in a horrible lab, where the employees care nothing about their zombie guinea pigs and will poke and prod, burn and dismember, and do whatever they feel like with them.  But after the unfolding events of Breathers, this is what his life has become now.  Zombies no longer have any rights whatsoever; many have been put to rest permanently, while those still around are trapped in these labs across the country.  But Andy has a plan to spring him and his fellow zombies out of this prison, along with the help of a zombie support group.

Once on the outside, Andy does his best to keep his friends safe, but also make sure they have a regular supply of fresh human to keep them healthy and well.  Funnily enough, when people treat you like nothing more than a corpse in a lab, you don’t care that much when you want to eat them.  But the people from the lab are looking for them, scouring the city, and eventually they will be found.  Though Andy also knows he has an ally in one of the laboratory employees, but doesn’t know why.

And in the middle of all this, Andy meets a lonely nine year-old girl who believes he’s Santa, because he was dressed as Santa (the perfect disguise at Christmas) and wants just one gift in the whole world: to have her bad parent of a mother pay more attention to her and love her.  So now Andy has a guilt problem to deal with, as well as to save all his zombie friends and himself from getting caught and thrown back in the lab.  He knows if he gets caught, he’ll end up on the body farm this time.

Browne does a great job of replicating the voice and tone of Breathers, putting you right back in the world he created and making you realize how much you missed it.  Andy even comes up with a few haikus to entertain you.  Readers will be thrilled with this Christmas present, and be left wondering if Browne will be writing any more adventures of Andy and his unusual gang.

Originally written on December 4, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

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