Edward Grey is a Canadian medical student who is also a necromancer. He has known his ability to reanimate the dead for most of his life, since he raised his cat Boo. Over the years, he has learned a lot about caring for zombies and is mentored by a vudou woman, Mariel, who also can raise the dead.
Walking through the park one evening, Edward encounters a recently killed young man. It seems the man was a victim of violence, based on his injuries. Instead of summoning the police, Edward elects to bring the young man to his home, where he reanimates him. Wanting to avoid triggering any past memories and possibly enrage his newest zombie, Edward hides the man’s identification and calls him “Kit.”
Kit is understandably upset about his new situation, and–at first–suspects Edward as his killer. Kit, for his part, is a sentient zombie, with emotions and desires. He wants to continue his schooling and go shopping and have a life, even if it is undead. Over time, they develop a tentative friendship, but Edward is increasingly attracted to Kit. Kit is far more stylish and engaging than shy-mouse Edward. Edward often questions whom is the zombie in this partnership.
I liked this story, but it was a little long on Edward mooning. The pace was slower than I generally prefer, occasionally dragging and with a lot of angst on Edward’s part. He’s afraid of Kit, afraid Kit will turn on him, afraid Kit will leave him, and afraid Kit will lose control and go “Zombie eat brains!!!” But, most of all, Edward is afraid to confess his attraction and have suave, stylish, zombie Kit reject him.
The last third of the book introduces the vengeance aspect of the story, and that got pretty interesting. I found the romance to be subtle and a low simmer. When Edward and Kit do get together, it is tentative at first. Then, of course Edward has to agonize about how Kit won’t age while Edward will. Or, if Kit only likes him because they live together. Edward is the kind of guy who borrows trouble.
The book is rather sedate until Kit meets a “stranger” and remembers bits of his old life, in particular the last night of it. We get Kit’s insight then, funneled through his memories that break through into Edward’s mind. Edward tracks Kit’s path of gore, which takes them both to the edge of destruction. The end is peaceful and hopeful with all secrets being revealed. There is no cliffhanger and the HEA is sweet.