When you hear about zombies in fiction, what do you think?
Yeah. I know.
I’ve broached the subject of zombies on our Facebook page and was met by lots of “Hell NO!” I’ve tried to reason with you all, but you don’t listen. So listen now: Not all zombies are the same. I blame Night of the Living Dead for you all thinking they are. Yes, most zombies need brains to stay animated but they’re all not beasts. Okay, maybe they are, but I’m trying to help you all see the light.
When I asked why the lack of zombie love on Twitter I got this:
- They eat brains
So what? Vampires drink blood, people! Vampires sip and zombies have to chew a little bit.
- I have a mental block against zombies as romantic or hormonally attractive figures
When I asked my friend why she replied with this:
- I see them as gruesome rotting figures and I can’t let go of that enough to believe.
And there is the problem that no-one can let go with zombies, yet we can with vampires, weres and all types of other “supernaturals.” I don’t understand why! Vampires drink blood and weres have been known to eat a full person! Never mind the fur issues, yuck.
One of my favorite books this year was Rhiannon Frater’s The First Days, it was dark and disturbing. So disturbing the publicist warned me ahead of time, but it was brilliantly written and the darkness was perfect! There’s something beautifully haunting in her writing that captured my attention, and months later I can still quote the scenes that freaked me out.
On the other side of the scale, there are books written by authors like Mark Henry and Diana Rowland that bring the funny side of zombies out into the open. I’ll never forget the search for funeral make-up in Mark Henry’s book or the ’what the hell happened to me?’ in Diana Rowland’s book My Life as a White Trash Zombie.
It seems the YA set is the better buyer in terms of zombie novels; they keep getting put out and the teenagers keep buying them. So I’d like to know why the adult market is lacking for zombie Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy.
That said, zombies are always said to be a metaphor for the times. The release dates on some of the big zombie movies are during times of economic turmoil. To me, they are just a character. They don’t need to represent the oppressed; they don’t need to represent the apocalypse. We don’t see vampires or any other “supernatural” this way, why pin it on the zombie? Are they the most human? Doubtful, but they were humans at one time or another.
So I will share with you, some great zombie novels that need a little loving. Please note, most are YA.
Zombie Books to Sink Your Teeth Into:
- Mark Henry – Amanda Feral Series**
- Sophie Littlefield – Aftertime Series
- Diana Rowland – My Life as a White Trash Zombie**
- Rhiannon Frater – As The World Dies Series
- Joanne Frances Turner – Dust Series (YA)
- Daniel Waters - Generation Dead Series** (YA)
- Mira Grant – Newsflesh Trilogy Series (YA)
- Rachel Caine – Working Stiff **
- Carrie Harris – Bad Taste in Boys (YA)
- Amy Plum – Revenants (YA)
- Jonathan Maberry – Rot & Ruin (YA)
- Max Brooks – World War Z
** denotes humor
At least try one zombie novel, I promise you they aren’t all created equal. Have you read any zombie novels you loved and think I should read? Want to share your zombie hate? You can do that too.
Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website Wicked Little Pixie and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat, Seamus.