Monday, April 25, 2011

Vamps Out, Zombies In

Vampires will forever be synonymous with the Urban Fiction genre, but for now, a new monster is taking center stage. And thankfully I might add, because one does get tired of reading the same old vamp stories, even with the small plot changes thrown in.  And while, zombies have always been around, even before the cult classic - Night of the Living Dead, they are now just becoming a big trend for UF writers & readers alike.  Below, are a couple of hot zombie books that UF readers have already taken notice of, and a few they should.

Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1)Feed
Mira Grant, or McGuire to Toby Daye fans, is a great writer; which is definitely evident from her eloquently written zombie book-Feed. At 600 pages, the first novel is a bit long, but very strong indeed. Not being a huge fan of its political/news focus, the questionable brother-sister dynamic, or the blog entries for multi-character POV; I can still recognize this book as a must read for any zombie/UF fan.

Twin bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason and their colleague Buffy are thrilled when Sen. Peter Ryman, the first presidential candidate to come of age since social media saved the world from a virus that reanimates the dead, invites them to cover his campaign.

Aftertime (Luna Books)Aftertime
Littlefield turns what could be just another zombie apocalypse into a thoughtful and entertaining exploration of many themes, including genetic engineering, social collapse, and motherhood. Cass, a young mother and recovering alcoholic, awakens filthy and gashed in the California wilderness, with no memory of the past several weeks. She believes she's eaten a plant that turns its victims into Beaters, or zombies; her recovery is inexplicable.

An enigmatic, charismatic man named Smoke agrees to escort her for the last stretch of her journey home to find her daughter, and what begins as a four-mile hike through Beater-infested terrain becomes an odyssey through fragments of civilization devastated by war, plague, and anarchy. Littlefield has a gift for pacing, her adroit and detailed world-building going down easy amid page-turning action and evocative, sensual, harrowing descriptions that bring every paragraph of this thriller to life.

Allison Hewitt Is Trapped: A Zombie NovelAllison Hewitt Is Trapped: A Zombie Novel
When the zombie apocalypse breaks out, bookstore clerk Allison escapes the titular trap and finds a group of survivors at a community center. In an attempt to stave off her loneliness and connect with the outside world, Allison begins a blog. Like Feed, this book also uses blog entries as a storytelling device, drawing in additional characters and POV, helps enliven what is otherwise an average zombie story, albeit one with plenty of action and a high body count.

Rise Again: A Zombie ThrillerRise Again
In Forest Peak, a quiet town an hour outside of Los Angeles, the crowds at an Independence Day gathering suddenly go crazy, drop dead, and rise as flesh-eating corpses. As the zombies ravage the town, sheriff Adelman, a veteran of the Iraq War, gathers together the few human survivors and they head north, looking for refuge. In San Francisco, Danny discovers signs of a military coverup for the disaster and indications that Hawkstone, a team of paramilitary independent contractors, is taking advantage of the social anarchy.

Working Stiff: A Revivalist NovelWorking Stiff: A Revivalist Novel
Aug 02, 2011
From one of my favorite authors-Rachel Caine. Bryn is new on the job as a funeral director, but even she knows that once you’re dead, you ought to stay that way. But Fairview Mortuary has a hidden backroom business: reviving the dead for profit, at extortionate rates. Finding out may cost Bryn more than her life ... it may just take away her death, too. 

My Life as A White Trash ZombieMy Life as A White Trash Zombie
July 05, 2011
From another favorite UF author-Rowland takes a dip into the new zombie trend.  Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She's a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she's made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay "alive"...

-Zombies with a bit of Humor-

In what’s described as an “expanded edition” of Pride and Prejudice, 85 percent of the original text has been preserved but fused with “ultraviolent zombie mayhem.” For more than 50 years, we learn, England has been overrun by zombies, prompting people like the Bennets to send their daughters away to China for training in the art of deadly combat, and prompting others, like Lady Catherine de Bourgh, to employ armies of ninjas. Added to the familiar plot turns that bring Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy together is the fact that both are highly skilled killers, gleefully slaying zombies on the way to their happy ending.
In this terrifying and hilarious prequel, we witness the genesis of the zombie plague in early 19th-century England. We watch Elizabeth Bennet evolve from a naive young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. We laugh as she begins her first clumsy training with nunchucks and katana swords and cry when her first blush with romance goes tragically awry.

Sarah and David, once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they're on the verge of divorce and going to couples' counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things - the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor is ripping out her previous client's throat. Now they are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But, just because there are zombies, doesn't mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don't eat their brains, they might just kill each other.

Breathers: A Zombie's LamentBreathers: A Zombie's Lament
Andy reanimates after the car accident that kills his wife, but is too mangled from his injuries to talk. He lives in his parents' wine cellar, occasionally attending a zombie support group and struggling to rejoin a society that offers the undead no rights, bans them from working and doesn't even punish those who destroy them. When Andy and his fellow zombies—notably Rita, a sexy suicide victim with a lipstick fetish, and Jerry, a Playboy-obsessed stoner—learn why they're so driven to consume human flesh, the repercussions are both tragic and hilarious.

-Life is too Short to Read a Bad Book-


  1. You forgot Cherie Priest's "Clockwork Century" series ...

    1.) Boneshaker
    2.) Clementine
    3.) Dreadnought

  2. Yes, I know there are quite a few Steampunks that have zombies in them. And there are tons of Dark Fiction books out there, written by men. My point is that UF writers are starting to turn to zombie themes.

    Cherie Priest is a Steampunk writer, that just recently started writing UF.