Hello and welcome to the sixth day of the RealityLapse Christmas Countdown! The theme for today is zombies, and we’re six days away from Christmas. Today we’re starting off with some of my favorite zombie novels of all time…. You know… the kind that makes you think. Brings about questions like:
And makes you wonder.
And brings about the notion that you’re never quite prepared enough.
On that note, Jonathan Maberry to start us off.
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.
The first time I read this book, I had no words for it by the time I was done. I had never read any zombie book like this before, and even now–I find it hard to find anything quite like it. All I really knew was, Jonathan Maberry is awesome. I had rumors about PATIENT ZERO before, but I hadn’t read any of his books before. And he impressed me on his first try. I still find it hard to describe this book. Like all good ones, it’s hard to describe in words. Because it ends up with a lot of contradictions. This book is sensitive and smart, yet tough and almost horrifying at times. It’s clever, witty and fun yet straightforward and tight. It talks about what it means to be a zombie, but even more so about humans. Ugh. I have CJDAB (Cannot Justifiably Describe Amazing Books) syndrome. To read my full review, click here.
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time.World War Z is the result.
Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.
Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”
I personally have a good time reading some select zombie books, but most of them freak me out even if I love them. This book was no exception. Anyone reading this seen the movie version of this book? I bet some of you have. That movie, whether you liked it or not, (I did) was just a sliver of this book. I love the thrill of watching the movie and then going back to the book in this case, just because I feel like they pair up so well together. By reading the book, you really gain an understanding of why the movie was made the way it was. I was fascinated and sucked into both, and I highly recommend them.
WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE
In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.
As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.
Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.
As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.
I can’t help but love this book. Deuce and Fade brought a new kind of zombie book to me–one that was thrilling and fun and seemingly more YA-like than most other zombie books I had read. That, and it completely captured the zombie feel through the Freaks without completely freaking me out. This book is fun, thrilling at times and a great adventure. I still haven’t read HORDE yet but I’m dying to and I’m for sure going to be doing it soon. I have high hopes for the ending and I hope Ann Aguirre doesn’t disappoint… To read my full review, click here.
An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living.
I loved so much about this series. I don’t watch the tv show, but if it’s anything like the books I can definitely see the appeal to it. These stories are real, well-paced and have awesome world-building. I had a ton of fun reading them and I felt like the pictures really added in a great element to the story. I was very impressed with all the graphic imaginings of this world, in fact, and it brought more to the story than I could’ve imaged for this kind of book which was an awesome addition.
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings — merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.
As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing — kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery — one that will change Rithmatics — and their world — forever.
Somehow, I enjoyed this book much more than Brandon Sanderson’s other fantasy novels–despite his rep as a fantasy writer. This story is engaging and creepy. If someone had come up to me with this idea for a chalk-zombie-paranormal fantasy, I probably would’ve been pretty creeped out–and then come to the conclusion that only a select few authors could pull it off well. Turns out, Brandon Sanderson is one of those authors. And he’s done it. THE RITHMATIST is unlike many other books I’ve read and I really loved the uniqueness of it all. I loved the characters and the plotlines as well. An awesome fantasy-zombie read.
So that chalks up my favorite zombie reads, but what are yours? Are you interested in zombies? Despite the stereotype of most zombie books, there are many unique and amazing ones out there. Give these a try and stay tuned for the next day of the RealityLapse Christmas Countdown Day Seven: Biographies, Memoirs and Nonfiction.
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