Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Zombie Nation

I'm not really into horror or paranormal/supernatural, so when the whole zombie craze started I figured it best left to others.  Then John Maberry's Rot & Ruin won the 2010 Cybils YA Science Fiction & Fantasy award, and people had been yammering on and on about The Forest of Hands and Teeth since before its release, and I read-aloud to my 8th graders from Ryan Mecum's Zombie Haiku and we all loved it (even if some people had to hold down the vomit in their throats),  and I loved the movies Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead.  So what was I waiting for?

Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry For Your...BrainsI started my zombie adventure by reading Zombie Haiku in full.  The book is a series of haiku poems written by a man trying to escape a zombie apocalypse. It was a quick and relatively painlessful read.  I had to stop numerous times.  Some of it was so gross that I just focused on shallow breathing and tried not to look at the photos and illustrations.  I had already read Werewolf Haiku, so I should've known what to expect, but I foolishly thought it couldn't be as disgusting.  I was wrong.

This one has been a smash hit with both my male and female reluctant readers and also my horror fans.

Rot & RuinI continued the journey with John Maberry's Rot and Ruin (the first in a planned trilogy). This was more my style and I quickly became engrossed in the story.  In zombie-apocalypse California, multi-racial (Caucasian and Japanese) protagonist Benny Imura has reached the age where he must decide on a career.  Since his parents death (and subsequent zombification) when Benny was young, he has been raised by his emotionally distant half-brother Tom, a zombie bounty hunter.  Benny had planned on a career within the safety of the fences, but Tom invites him to train with him out in the Rot & Ruin, and he quickly discovers that "killing zoms" more about brains than braun and that zombies are were people too!

The Forest of Hands and TeethI was definitely surprised by how much I enjoyed Rot & Ruin, but my passion for character-driven zombie novels really reached its apex with Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth.  Wow!  I can't believe it took me this long to finally get around to reading these books.  Why didn't I just listen when everyone was raving about the first one years ago?

It's a familiar scene: zombie apocaplyse, most of the world taken over by the living dead (known here as the Unconsecrated), only remaining survivors live a pared down existence protected from the zombies (who live in the Forest of Hands and Teeth) by a fence.  The sisterhood rule the town with an iron fist and distribute information about the Unconsecrated, life before and life outside the fence on a "need to know" basis.  Then there's a breach.  The town is overrun by Unconsecreated and it's up to Mary and the handful of others who have escaped to search for safety beyond the fence.

So. Good.  I plowed through all three of the books (thank goodness the third and final volume was *just* released) in a matter of days.  But if you're still not sure it's something you're interested in, watch this trailer.

Now get to the nearest library, bookstore and/or ereader and start reading.

ETA: As if reading my mind, there is now a zombie-proof house!

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1 comment:

  1. I assume you've seen this, which circulates around the internet from time to time...