Review: “Playing Possum,” Stephanie Rabig

Pros: So much fun!
Rating: 5 out of 5

You may or may not remember Alan Baxter’s The Roo [review], a classic-horror-style, terribly fun novel that started as a joke based on an article about an aggressive kangaroo and a mock-up novel cover. Well, apparently that wasn’t the only cover that got made in that vein, and so Playing Possum was born, authored by Stephanie Rabig.

The possums seem to have gone crazy! They’re attacking people, and those who are bitten start to change. Vanessa is worrying over her girlfriend, Tiffany, who was attacked in the parking lot outside of her job. Vanessa’s cousin Sophia, who loves animals with all her heart, insists possums just aren’t like that, and rescues a bunch of babies after their mother is shot. Unfortunately, it seems the town may be under a curse, and they’re going to need some help to survive the growing army of possums!

Honestly this book is just so much fun. From the raucous family who come wielding potato cannons, to the beautiful relationship between Vanessa and Tiffany, I loved it. The characters have way more depth than you’d expect from a book that’s kind of half-joke. Vanessa lives with her aunt (the police chief), her uncle, and her cousin because her father threw her out for being gay. Sophia and Tiffany are interesting young ladies. Aunt Becca clearly kicks some ass, and uncle John is a sweetheart. The other townspeople–the few we see in any depth–are either fodder for animal attacks or interesting side characters who definitely add to the story.

I absolutely recommend this book, and I hope more authors get drawn into this! Content note for animal harm, of course, although there’s also plenty of animal love. I wish I could explain some later developments in this book that I love, but I don’t want to spoil it. I’ll just say that the ending was awesome!

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