For those of you not familiar with Amanda Feral, she's a zombie. But not just any zombie. She's the original Diva of the Living Dead. So when the Road Trip of the Living Dead opens, we find our heroine camped out in a cemetery with fellow zombie gal pal Wendy and gay vampire sidekick Gil. While Gil prepares for the "coming out" of a newly turned vamp, courtesy of his latest enterprise -- Luxury Resurrections Ltd. -- Amanda ponders the course of action she should take regarding her mother, who is wasting away in a hospice. Should she stay or should she go and visit the old bag before she bites the big one for the last time. The decision is taken out of her hands, thanks to your friendly neighborhood ghost who unleashes a stream of ectoplasmic piss on the newly risen vamp. Who turns out to be none other than Richard Markham, a Mafioso type figure who tends to hold a grudge. Rather than hide out until things blow over, Wendy suggests a road trip, thus fulfilling the "moderately accurate" prediction of Madame Gloria, Wendy's telephone psychic.
The trio (quartet, actually, when you take into account Mr. Kim, Amanda's ghostly hood ornament) take to the road, destination Rapid City, South Dakota and Amanda's mother. However, nothing with Amanda is ever simple, as she lives for drama. From the minute they hit the road, the body count starts to rise. Will Amanda and company "live" long enough to say good-bye to Mommy Dearest? To find out, you'll just have to pack a bag and tag along. But please make your you bring your own Depends, because with the laughter that ensues, you may just find yourself in need of some relief without a rest stop in sight.
Reading Mark Henry, you quickly find nothing is held sacred -- anything and everything falls prey to his sharp wit: white supremacists, Wal-Mart shoppers, nursing homes, etc. You find yourself laughing, but at the same time you are reprimanding yourself for enjoying his un-PC sense of humor -- a genuine guilty pleasure. The story is solid and engaging, and you can't help but keep turning to the pages to find out what happens next. I didn't think Mark Henry could surpass Happy Hour of the Damned, but he has.
It isn't until you get to the end that you ask yourself one question (and this is the only problem I had with this thoroughly enjoyable read): why did he introduce the Travelers, ghosts that are not bound to the location in which they died? Cort makes an appearance, and there's a hint of a promised return, but alas, he's gone with the wind, never to be seen again. It could be an element of foreshadowing, but it doesn't come across that way. That aside, I urge to pick this up and take a little trip.
And if you haven't already done so, I strongly urge you to stop off at your local literary watering hole and enjoy a drink or two with America's Favorite Living Dead Diva during Happy Hour of the Damned. While it's not necessary to read Happy Hour of the Damned before taking a Roadtrip beyond your wildest imaginings, I would highly recommend doing so to become familiar with Amanda Feral.