The flu pandemic of 1918 took millions of souls within a few short weeks.
Except it wasn’t flu and death gave them back.
Seventeen-year-old Ella copes the best she can; caring for her war-injured father, scrubbing the floors, and slaying the undead that attack the locals. ‘Vermin’ they’re called, like rats they spread pestilence with their bite. Ella’s world collides with another when she nearly decapitates a handsome stranger, who is very much alive.
Seth deMage, the new Duke of Leithfield, has returned to his ancestral home with a mission from the War Office — to control the plague of vermin in rural Somerset. He needs help; he just didn’t expect to find it in a katana-wielding scullery maid.
Working alongside Seth blurs the line between their positions, and Ella glimpses a future she never dreamed was possible. But in overstepping society’s boundaries, Ella could lose everything – home, head and her heart… – Goodreads
I’m gonna be honest—I hate the shit out of zombies. World War Z? Hell no. The Walking Dead? No effing thank you. Zombieland? Go away.
Cinderella retelling? Well, okay!
I loved this retelling, despite the icky ‘vermin’, or zombies. I though Ella was a great MC and I really enjoyed the story. Hell, it pulled me out of my reading slump and I finished it in less than 24 hours and I couldn’t put it down, so that’s always a good.
There’s a handsome love interest (a duke, not a prince), evil stepsisters, an asshole stepmother, and plenty of chores to go around—killing zombies just happens to be one of them.
I really enjoyed the slow build of the romance in this book. I was concerned that it was instalove at the beginning, but it was more instaattraction than anything.
I also loved the worldbuilding. There’s a definite twist of historical fiction, making this cross-genre novel different and interesting.
My biggest gripe? The number of typos and errors. I found myself getting distracted by them, which wasn’t cool.
In all, I really enjoyed this story! I’ll be trying more of AW Exley’s work. I really hope there are more installments in the Ella series, though, as the ending was left open-ended! 4/5 on Goodreads.