There was a time I would have been embarrassed to admit this, but I don’t care anymore. I’m just going to come out and say this: I love Zombie fiction*!
It all started with “The Walking Dead”, the insanely popular TV show. I heard about how great it is and thought I’d give it a try. At first, I was horrified. I mean- yuck! Then I started to see there was a story line in the middle of all that gore. I got to know the characters (the living ones, that is) and I was hooked.
The problem is, whenever the show ended for the season, I went through a grieving process. I don’t like to wait for anything, even television shows. So what did I do to fill the Zombie void? I turned to Amazon. Lo and behold, there are all sorts of Zombie-related books available. I purchased my first Zombie fiction* book for my Kindle in June of 2013. I read it secretly, hoping nobody would find out that I had strayed from more mainstream literature.
To my surprise, I enjoyed the book immensely! The book was Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Louriero. This story takes place in Spain and was, in fact, written for a Spanish audience. Fortunately, it was translated into English before I tried to read it. I have since read the sequel to this one and enjoyed it just as much.
From there, I read Scott Nicholson’s After: The Shock. I don’t remember much about this one, other than the “zombies” are the result of a solar flare. I just purchased his second in this series, After: The Echo, so I’m sure the story-line will come back to me quickly when I start reading it.
After my first two enjoyable ventures into Zombie fiction*, I purchased the first book in a series called The Remaining, by D.J. Molles. This was my first introduction to Zombie fiction* with a strong militaristic leaning. I discovered I like having main characters who know how to shoot machine guns, throw grenades effectively, and are able to take on zombie hordes with military precision. I ended up purchasing and reading the rest of the books in the series that were available at the time.
The next author I discovered was James Cook. Like the others, his books come in a series. The first in his series is called No Easy Hope- Surviving the Dead: Book One. Cook’s books combine military with martial arts as a way to deal with the the undead. I like martial arts, so this was a bonus. I like the main characters in these books- they are flawed and endearing. Fortunately, I was able to read the other two books in the series without having to wait, since they had already been published. I like when books come in a series… the fun can continue until the author decides it’s time to end it. Hopefully, Cook has a few more books in this series planned.
After the Surviving the Dead series, I floundered around a bit, trying to find a series that would be as good as Molles’ and Cook’s books. It was hit-and-miss for a while. Some of the Zombie fiction* out there is really not that great. Since most of the writers of this genre are “indies”, the editing sometimes lacks professionalism. Some of the story-writing is poor and juvenile. But, I persevered and came across a series that quickly became my favorite.
John O’Brien is the writer of a series called A New World. As of this post, he has nine books in his series. His are my favorite of this genre because he tells a great story and does so with skill and professionalism. O’Brien’s books are somewhat militaristic, but they include a “human” element, as well. The characters are likable and realistic. The zombies in this story are different than the zombies in any of the other books I’ve read. I hope to see a lot more from this author, even after he ends this particular series.
If you enjoy some humor with your zombies, Mark Tufo is the author for you. He is hilarious! His books maintain the yuck and fright factor, but there are moments when I find myself literally laughing out loud. Tufo has written quite a few books, but his zombie series is called Zombie Fallout. There are currently seven books in the series and he is working on his eighth.
So, there it is. I love reading Zombie fiction*. My guilty pleasure. And it sure is a fun one!
*Zombie fiction- Isn’t that a bit redundant? I mean, zombies are the epitome of fiction, right? If zombies ever stop being fiction, we’re in all kinds of trouble.