The Undead. The First Seven Days by R R Haywood
Two unlikely heroes: Howie, your hapless but likable Tesco Manager and his underling-become-sidekick Dave, who has some kind of non-descript neurological disorder, hack their way through this very readable zombie-slash fest. Thankfully, what Dave lacks in social skills is made up by being a well trained special forces soldier. With Dave’s help Howie managed to rise above himself, and together they fight the forever increasing hordes of zombies shambling in their way from the South, to find Howie’s sister in London. It is good fun, perhaps a tad cartoonish – Howie’s weapon of choice is an axe against trillions of zombies…
Having said all that I had to check out at around book 5 – it just got too silly for me. Once zombies start being anything else but brain-dead, flesh-eating anti-humans and develop thought, it is all over for me! Intelligent zombies – don’t be daft. And I am sure the zombie hordes increased to levels that make Bangladesh look sparsely populated. I simply couldn’t face it anymore…
By the way, this used to be cheap as chips but has gone up a couple of pounds since I’ve read it. Still, at under 6 pounds for almost 900 pages of mayhem, it ain’t dear.
Zombie Fallout series by Mark Tufo – Books 1 to 10
I’ve read the first couple of books of this series – until the zombies became too clever for my liking. Mike, a family man, and survivalist who has been eagerly awaiting the undead (no shortage of guns at the outbreak) takes them on with plenty of humour and strong language. The spelling and grammar police were up in arms over this one. The would nail me to the cross as well, so I cannot comment. Meanwhile, America’s gun lobby would probably award Mark Tufo the Nobel prize for literature.
Anyhow, for me the trouble started when the author must have thought zombies are just too boring, let’s make them a bit more interesting by making them smarter. No, no, no you don’t! Develop the living and let the zombies be zombies. Here we have a zombie lady who develops some kind of mind relationship with Mike. Sorry, don’t know what happened after book 2 – I got out of there…
100 Days in Deadland by Rachel Aukes
A perfectly good zombie read. Not quite living up to my expectations – with Dante’s Inferno in the subtitle I kinda expected a lot more. Not sure what? But perhaps more than characters named Cash, Cutch, Griz, Tack, Jase and zombies called zeds. The relationship between Cash and Clutch runs along predictable routes and at times felt like chick lit with zombies. Still, at least it was aiming high, and I wasn’t disappointed by the story as a whole.
Some Amazon reviewers voiced surprise that a woman is doing zombies! I wonder where these folks have been? Underground in a bunker counting supplies? Wherever it was, I’d like to welcome them to this century. The book cover could be better…
Day By Day Armageddon by J L Bourne
Even though the cover looks like a coal mine disaster, this is a solid zombie read. It originally started as an online fiction journal written in diary form from the perspective of a lone Naval Officer in a post-apocalyptic world with a lot more zombies than living folks. The few people he does meet soon form a small band of survivors having to keep on the move trying to stay alive in a world getting more hostile by the minute.
There is no deep characterisation of anyone in this book, but one still cares about those essentially decent people, wanting them to make it. Oh, and there is a dog! What can I say? I like dog!, I’ve got a dog, how could I not?
Feed by Mira Grant
I was completely hooked from page one! Bloggers covering a presidential campaign did not sound all that riveting to me – even with zombies thrown in. Well, I stand corrected. While I would put it on the ‘young adult’ shelve, it still is exciting with interesting characters and extremely well written. I can totally believe now that bloggers are the bee’s knees in a post-apocalyptic world…
ps I am not sure why I didn’t eagerly grab volume 2 and 3 of The Newsflash Trilogy? Perhaps because I am an old adult, or perhaps I was just getting a little tired of that series malarky?
Surviving The Evacuation Book 1: London: Volume 1 by Frank Tayell
This was a real find. It was dirt cheap (these days it is free) on the old kindle and I honestly did not have high hopes after wading through some awful start-of-a-zombie-series giveaways before. But hey it started off like Rear Window by Hitchcock with a bloke called Bill Wright, stuck in his flat with a broken leg, reduced to just watching as the zombie outbreak happens. He seems to be so ordinary, a fairly decent chap, that you wouldn’t give him 5 minutes ‘out there’. But, of course, supplies are running low and he has to go…
The quality of writing is ace and I gobbled Book 2 and 3 down as well. One of us (Frank Tayell or me?) lost the plot somewhere in book 3 and the story line just became too abstruse for my liking. My guess is that the pressure to publish the next volume got in the way of clear thinking.
I understand that the Surviving the Evacuation Series is currently at volume 7 and perhaps one day I am ready to find out what happened? But for now, I am just content with recommending volume 1 and 2 wholeheartedly.
Red Hill by Jamie McGuire
You know how in almost every zombie novel there is always a destination of promise – here it is what it says on the tin: Red Hill. It is from the school of: ‘a zombie outbreak is the best thing that could have happened’ to its protagonists. It brings out the best in them and they find love on the way. And while it is somewhat predictable at times, Jamie McGuire is an accomplished writer who knows her craft – just as you would expect from a New York Times Bestselling Author. Surprisingly it is not part one of a series. I liked it!
World War Z by Max Brooks
This one also belongs to the better picks of the genre. The story is told by way of interviews with various protagonists in a pan epidemic of zombies that swept the entire Globe 10 years prior.
It is intelligent, political, scary (a bit like politics today) and a must for any zombie fan worth its salt. Don’t think that if you’ve seen the film you don’t need to read the book – they bare little resemblance to each other, with the book being much better.
The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor (The Governor Series Book 1) by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga
Be warned I really did not like this one. I blame Jay Bonansinga, seeing that Robert Kirkman gave us the marvellous Walking Dead.
Never mind the zombies it’s the living you want to run away from screaming. Riding on the well-deserved fame of the walking dead series, this one hasn’t got much to offer. Three unlikable rednecks and a child do the standard zombie fare of fleeing, defending, fleeing etc. What it does have to offer though is gratuitous violence, rape and torture. And compared to the living, the zombies are basically a decent bunch who just lost their way a bit and have an unfortunate hunger for human flesh. The ones with reasoning (of sorts) though are vile beyond the pale. You know there is something seriously wrong when you want the zombies to win…