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Published August 6, 2015

Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic Thriller

Age Group: Teens – Adult

Some violence, mild curse words   |   Market:  Glee & Zombie Lover Crowd, LGBT & Heterosexual audience

Awards: Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars (click here to see review), 1st Place in 2015 Hollywood Book Festival

Sam and his friends laugh when the storeowner calls them the Zombie Squad. They have no idea what is coming their way. Their trip to New Orleans starts out pleasant and exciting but then becomes bizarre and ends up outright horrific. On their first night they find a mysterious relic in their shopping bag. This turns out to be a catalyst for the unspeakable events that occur the next day. The dead don’t just start to walk—they awkwardly sprint from victim to victim, building an army of undead. To make matters worse, a group of mobsters pursue The Zombie Squad through the city of New Orleans, wanting to obtain the relic for their own malicious reasons. Sam and company soon learn they are the only thing standing in the way of a worldwide zombie apocalypse. It’s a hellish chase to an unforgettable end, and Sam and friends may just end up earning their nickname… The Zombie Squad.



Readers’ Favorite

5 out of 5 STARS

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

The Zombie Squad is a young adult horror novel written by Bryce Bentley Summers. Sam, Rylee, Ava and Jordan are attending a special youth leadership conference held in New Orleans. When they get off the plane from Kansas City, they go with Mr. Grant, their chaperone, to a coffee shop where Rylee has arranged to meet her older sister, a medical student. As they’ve arrived early, the four high school seniors decide to go across the street to visit Zombies R Us, a voodoo and magic shop. Jordan’s looking for a natural version of Viagra, which this store doesn’t carry, but the shopkeeper suggests another store around the corner. Voodoo Junk and Magik used to be the biggest voodoo store in New Orleans, but the original store was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. When they enter the store, the owner tries to get them to leave, claiming the store is closed, and he finally gets the four students to go after filling a bag with touristy items for them. Unbeknownst to them, he’s included a powerful voodoo talisman called the Zombi Astral which a trio of mobsters is willing to kill him for.

Bryce Bentley Summers’ young adult horror novel, The Zombie Squad, is an original and entertaining take on the zombie novel. Summers creates a compelling voodoo story based on Haitian tradition and weaves an exciting tale in which the four resourceful friends attempt to survive a New Orleans that’s been taken over by zombies. The four main characters are well-defined, and I enjoyed their banter, good-natured digs and loyalty. My favorite character has to be Sam, the gymnast and artist, whose decision to come out led his driver’s ed teacher to flunk him, but whose acceptance by his parents and friends is heartwarming. Datal, the owner of Voodoo Junk and Magik, and his assistant Vic are also marvelous characters. While I am not a huge fan of zombie literature, I was quite pleasantly surprised by The Zombie Squad. I loved reading the history behind the zombie mythology and seeing the sights of New Orleans through the students’ eyes, and found the hotel sequences to be highly imaginative and a visual treat. The Zombie Squad is highly recommended.

The Hunger Monster Book Review

4 out of 5 Stars

You can escape from any dreadful situation if you have the courage to do so. The Zombie Squad offers various experiences that uniquely draws the line between right and wrong. The right choices, at first, bring brutal hardships and pain but as the story unfolds, the reader comes to know that the choices were made for the right reasons and in turn saved thousands of people from the shadow of evil. The book contains all the charm and poise I’ve come to expect in young adult books. The author’s great imagination and skill at giving it life on page creates some unbelievably visceral scenes and deftly blends fiction with reality. Bryce Summers seems to have great knowledge of the behavior and mindset of a professional criminal. He delivers detailed scenes with focus given to even the smallest of details, which is really what made this book worth reading. Although, some of the chapters were a bit too dramatic for me, I know there are some readers that enjoy over the top style characterizations.

The book starts with the appearance of three criminals who work for a man named John Guerra. They’re hired to find a cursed talisman. They first visit an old man named Toussaint Julme who is on his deathbed in a hospital. Before they’re able to begin their investigation Toussiant dies and in his hand is a picture of Datal (his brother living in New Orleans) that gives them their first clue to finding the talisman. Later they find out that it’s actually a Zombi Astral; a portal key to unlocking a demon world which belonged to their master who bought it from Toussaint’s nephew. This is the opening of the story, but the next chapters take an interesting turn and fly by easily; the criminals visit Datal’s store in New Orleans, a young cast of characters come in contact with the Talisman, a great setting of a horrifying world through which the young classmates have to go through, the resilience shown by Datal and the young students. The moral to the story is clear, there is evil in the world that can’t be kept hidden and must be confronted no matter the cost. I wish the author did a better job at summarizing his thoughts as there were long bits of exposition and explanations that really dragged the story. But the one thing that I immediately think of when I remember this story is the creativity. There were very imaginative and descriptive scenes that made you feel as if they were real, and then I was slowed down by the long swaths of explanations. But overall I enjoyed the book. If you’re looking for a well-crafted fictional horror story then pick up, The Zombie Squad, you won’t be disappointed.








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