The Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies Duology, officially titled Double Feature: Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies/Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombiesnote is a two-part novel by Brent Hartinger, and the third novel in the Russel Middlebrook Series, following Geography Club and The Order of the Poison Oak. It is unique in the series as Min narrates for the first time and has her own plot. Each book can be read in a different order, and actions from one book can be reflected in the other. Both series revolve around the production of a horror movie in their town and Russel, Min, and their friends are picked as extras.
In Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies, Russel is excited that his boyfriend is coming over for Thanksgiving as well as being an extra in the movie. But several complications come up at once: Kevin Land, his ex, is starting to make his move and Russel hasn't quite gotten over the breakup. Not only that, his parents find out that he's gay and are not accepting. Dealing with parental rejection and his unresolved feelings for Kevin, Russel has to make a decision between boys and standing up to her parents.
In Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies, Min is feeling lonely after her summer romance crashed and burned. But during the audition, a new girl catches her eye. She seems perfect on the outside, but she's hiding some secrets from Min. Not only that, Min wants to protect Russel from getting his heart broken by Kevin again, no matter what it takes.
This page contains spoilers for both Geography Club and The Order of the Poison Oak.
The Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies Duology contains examples of the following tropes
- An Aesop: Min learns to be flexible in regards to her beliefs and standards, that not every situation is black and white, and how to compromise.
- Armored Closet Gay: Downplayed for Leah, Min's Love Interest. She refuses to come out, but only because she doesn't want to be alienated from her childhood friends. She ultimately thinks her parents and family would be cool with it.
- Cure Your Gays: Russel's parents "ask" (read: force) Russel to speak with Father Franklin, a priest about being gay in hopes that the Father can start to change his mind. It, of course, doesn't work and Russel brings up the Fridge Logic of scripture being used against gay people.
- Connected All Along: Both Russel and Min do things in their stories that influence the other, namely, Russel inadvertently drives Min and Leah closer together and Min influences Otto to be patient with Russel and tells Kevin to let Russel go, you have to read both stories to get the full picture.
- Double-Sided Book: Each story is on the opposite side of the book.
- Gay Cruising: In Rusty's half, Rusty thinks Kevin is cruising in the park when Rusty goes to meet up with him. Rusty is put off, which contributes to his decision to be done with Kevin for good. In reality, Kevin wasn't cruising and wanted to finally commit to Rusty but was warned off by his friend, Min.
- Gayngst: A stable of the series. Russel's parents find out that he's gay and they (well, more like his mother) are not accepting at all, and even force Russel to speak to their priest about his sexuality. Kevin finally comes out and not all of his friends are accepting, and it's indicated he got into a physical fight with one. Also, Leah is closeted and does not want to come out while in high school. In contrast, Min's mother is accepting of her bisexuality.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Min convinces Kevin to stop pursuing Russel so Russel's relationship with Otto can survive. When Russel meets up with Kevin later, Kevin purposefully acts like a jerkass to upset Russel into leaving him alone.
- Long-Distance Relationship: Russel and Otto are in one, and the strain it puts on them is why Min tells Kevin to back off from trying to get together with Russel again.
- Long Title
- Love Triangle: Russel is torn between Otto, his long-distance boyfriend, and Kevin, his ex-boyfriend.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Leah, who is a former cheerleader is blonde and leggy, and very feminine. So much so that she started to dress more alternatively in order to attract girls due to her not fitting the stereotype.
- Perspective Flip: Russel and Min go off on their own adventures in their books and have different outlooks on the same events, you have to read both to get the full picture.
- Soapbox Sadie: Min works to overcome the negatives of the trope, having a set of rigid standards as well as pre-judging people due to the social cliques that they're in. Such as judging Leah's friends as airheaded because they're cheerleaders and Kevin's attempts of wooing Russel as a "jock" thing. She even thinks Leah is lying to herself and being dishonest by not coming out.