Floaters: A Victorian Zombie Adventure

Written by Garrett Boatman
Review by J. Lynn Else

Victorian London has survived fires, plagues, wars, but it’s about to face its worst nightmare. As zombies rise from the Thames, their hunger knows no bounds. Most of London flees while they can. Meanwhile, male and female street urchin gangs will band together to fight a threat that only adds to their numbers with each bite of flesh they take.

It’s a book about zombies, so the gore factor is what you’d expect from this genre. The metaphors and mindsets are firmly grounded in the historical period. The author utilizes the senses like a cinematic movie director as zombies begin to devour the city. Boatman’s main characters have a depth not often accomplished in novellas, and I had a few favorites I was rooting for. As the street gangs come together to formulate a plan, they take to the rivers running throughout London of which the author clearly has a vast knowledge.

The adventure churns between locks, pours through tunnels, and swells past wharves. This novella doesn’t work to explain the supernatural; it simply presents a fast-paced, atmospheric, visceral battle of living versus the living dead. It even tugs a bit at the heart by the end. A quick satisfying read, especially for the spookier months of the year. Recommended!