The Last Pride is a Pandemic of Emotions and an Innate sense of Belonging with The Z Word’s Ragtag Group

The Z Word by Lindsay King-Miller

Happy Snow Day from Star Cat Books! We thought that since we had to take a snow day, that we could still cozy up with a nice ARC and share our thoughts with our lovely customers and friends! Without further ado…

Written By: Sable Quinn

Sable’s Rating: 5/5 stars

Content Warning: there is a brutal scene involving Wendy, Sam, Aurelia, and Logan when the police are called outside of the pharmacy. The scene does show an instance of police brutality that some readers may prefer to skip.

The Z Word, Lindsay King-Miller. Quirk Books, May 7, 2024. 256 pp.

Review on Lindsay King-Miller’s The Z Word, a new spin on the horror genre. A story surrounding the bisexual main character, Wendy. The audience is thrown directly in the middle of gay drama, the start of the apparent zombie apocalypse, disgusting hard-seltzers, and all of it coming to you from what has been dubbed the ‘Last Pride.’ Release date: May 7, 2024.

When one hears the collective words ‘zombie apocalypse,’ ‘gay pride,’ ‘outbreak,’ etc, you know this new novel, The Z Word by Lindsay King-Miller, will either be the next book to write home about or it will be the cheesiest god-forsaken thing ever to grace this Earth. I mean, hell, even if you hear the words ‘gay’ and ‘apocalypse’ being even briefly mentioned in the same vicinity of each other, the hair stands up on the back of your neck just because this could have the potential to be the literary world’s worst nightmare if not executed properly.

King-Miller falls into the former category because The Z Word is an intricately crafted story of life interruptions and what it means to be human. All the while, King-Miller also has her audience experiencing an entire range of emotions throughout the entire journey of her latest work. I swear I transitioned through a whole spread of emotions while reading this lovely book, even the ones I only break out for special occasions!

I wasn’t sure whether King-Miller’s writing would even catch my attention at first, simply due to the misleading, slower introduction to the book. The first scene starts with the first Pride party of Pride weekend. Our married couple, transgender Aurelia and lesbian Sam are hosting it at their house (side note: I am LIVING for the inclusivity King-Miller brings to the table within her new book. The amount of new knowledge and phrasing she has introduced me to about the queer community as a fellow queer person myself is enlightening and phenomenal. I felt, while reading this book as if I were progressing my knowledge and awareness while simultaneously enjoying the book and doing what I love).

We first meet our main character, Wendy, while she rummages through the Seabrook hard-seltzers. Seabrook is a hard-seltzer company that only just recently started trying to make a difference within the queer community strictly due to their association and good publicity/sales that comes from sponsoring this Pride event. We are artfully informed of this through King-Miller’s weaving of subtle information and her use of flashback chapters to help us fill in their histories with each other and Seabrook within their friend group.

As the party continues late into the night, we are introduced to all of the convoluted queer drama and our main characters: Wendy, Aurelia and Sam, Leah (Wendy’s ex-girlfriend that is kind of now participating in a poly-relationship with Aurelia and Sam — awkward!), Logan (our drag queen goth god — hearts for Logan!), Sunshine (our she/they pizza delivery driver who is a wet dream themselves and completely slays the entire zombie apocalypse), and our very butch-lesbian bestie Beau! All the while King-Miller is laying the land for us, she is also creating vague and strange behavior within others that starts in our peripheral vision during the party. This upcoming release is a crazy, entertaining, heart-warming, hilarious, and even romantic Horror book. 

As aforementioned, King-Miller has a certain mastery of her craft so she can emote directly off the page and into our emotions. Let me just tell you this: the contempt I first felt toward Aurelia, Sam, and Leah was unmatched; the heartbreak I could feel echo in my chest during the **police brutality scene in front of the pharmacy was earth-shattering; I felt deeply the deafening and isolating loneliness, crippling regret, and involuntary self-sabotage that follows Wendy everywhere she goes as well as the giddiness Sunshine undoubtedly has swimming in their stomach.

King-Miller is an insanely talented author. She is particularly gifted with her world- and character-building, but the life she can breathe into her complex, damaged, and downright relatable characters is an extremely rare talent that only a few seem to truly do well. 

Wendy, King-Miller’s main character, feels as if she were an extension of myself. I am confident that King-Miller has created an infinite and wholly relatable main character that will resonate with a specific part of her sapphic audience. I hope I was able to help give you a sneak peek at the truly genius story that King-Miller created. In this book, she shares a novel with us that represents a lot of the different types of drama that all Queers have experienced at one point or another, which intrigues her audience even further but also aids in healing our own experiences. I hope Lindsay can sweep you off your feet as she did to me!

The Z Word, the newest horror fiction novel that Lindsay King-Miller created and will be sharing with the rest of the world, will be released on May 7, 2024. It is an immense and captivating sapphic horror with a hint of a love story! Feel free to use our Star Cat Books Bookshop to order your copy of The Z Word! Stay safe during the snow day we’re having! Books always keep me warm and safe inside, just saying!!

**Content Warning: there is a brutal scene involving Wendy, Sam, Aurelia, and Logan when the police are called outside of the pharmacy. The scene does show an instance of police brutality that some readers may prefer to skip.

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