Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian
Move over vampires, zombies are here to stay (at least for awhile). Haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet? Now is as good a time as any to try out some zombie reads. Here are a few to get you started.
One of the most well-known zombie apocalypse novels is “World War Z” by Max Brooks (son of Mel Brooks). It is ten years after the zombie war that nearly wiped out humanity. Brooks takes it upon himself to document the accounts of witnesses from around the world, from the beginnings of the zombie outbreak through the end of the war. It is a fast- paced, entertaining read that will have you on the lookout for zombies wherever you go.
In Jonathan Maberry’s “Patient Zero,” biological warfare meets zombies. In this series opener, Joe Ledger must combat a new terrorist weapon. Ledger, a Baltimore detective, and the newly created Department of Military Sciences must stop terrorists from unleashing a plague that turns people into zombies. Block off some reading time for this one because it is a fast and furious read. Award-winning author Maberry has other zombie books to his credit including the bleak, post-apocalyptic thriller, “Rot & Ruin,” the first in the Benny Imura young adult series.
For another great YA read, give “The Forests of Hands and Teeth” by Carrie Ryan a try. Orphaned Mary lives in a walled village in the middle of the forest governed by the controlling Sisterhood, generations after the zombie apocalypse has taken place. Outside the walls of the village are the flesh- eating “Unconsecrated.” But what happens when the fences are breached and the zombies get in? Pick this one if you like some romance along with nail-biting action.
In the apocalyptic zombie novel, “Monster Island” by David Wellington, most of the world has succumbed to the undead. However, a few pockets of humans remain. One such group travels to New York from Somalia in a quest for medicine. Once there, they get more than they bargained for, as New York is also overrun with zombies. This book also contains the unique feature of a zombie who retains his human intelligence and is horrified at what he has become.
In the 2010 Hugo Award nominee, “Boneshaker,” Cherie Priest combined steampunk fiction with zombies. In an alternate 1880’s United States, inventor Leviticus Blue is blamed for destroying Seattle. His steam-powered machine went out of control, destroying buildings and killing many people. Worst of all, it released a mysterious gas that turned many of those who breathed it into zombies. It is now sixteen years later and Blue’s son Zeke decides to visit Seattle to find proof that his father wasn’t the villain that everyone claims. This is the first installment in the Clockwork Century series. “Boneshaker” has been recently optioned for a movie, so look for it eventually on the big screen.
If you like your zombie fiction a little on the lighter side, here are a few suggestions:
Try “The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead,” also by Max Brooks. This book is laugh-out-loud funny. In a deadpan voice, Brooks details everything you need to know to survive a zombie apocalypse, including the best weaponry, terrain, transportation, tactics, and much more. Keep this book with you at all times. You never know when hordes of the undead will strike.
In “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Seth Grahame-Smith, much of the original text of “Pride and Prejudice” has been preserved, interspersed with “ultraviolent zombie mayhem.” Perhaps this mash-up is the new way to read classics!
Also hilarious is “Night of the Living Trekkies” by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall. In this parody, army veteran Jim Pike is home from a tour in Afghanistan and working as a bellhop at a hotel in Houston. The hotel is hosting GulfCon, a large Star Trek fan convention, when things go horribly wrong. Convention attendees begin turning into zombies and eating people. Pike and other survivors, armed with prop Star Trek weaponry, must find a way to escape. Trekkie or not, you’ll enjoy this book!
These are only the tip of the zombie iceberg, so come in to Manhattan Public Library to find even more zombie books.