I think we can all agree that the world of zombie fiction is saturated. Not that we mind, right? What’s more fun then feasting on some gory undead fiction? Still, like a line from Ecclesiastes, it certainly feels like there is nothing new that can be added that hasn’t already been done. Outside the community of zombie enthusiasts, most have given up on the horror sub-genre (if they had ever invested in it to begin with remains questionable). That being said, there’s some truth on the side of the pessimistics. Zombie fiction…well…be it movie or book, there’s a lot out there. And though there’s a lot of available material to quench our ghoulish appetites, not all of it is good. So, how do we tell what’s worth investing not only our time but also our money?
Kinda sad to say, there are those itching to take advantage of fans of The Walking Dead, George A. Romero, Max Brooks, and other well known proprietors of zombie fiction. With so much material out there, it could make any super-fan-person giddy. But as mentioned there are publishers with little to no real appreciation of our beloved horror trope. So, as a way of helping avoid the snare of these market tappers, I have devised a list of best of’s pulled from real reads of zombie fiction. A majority of the books included here came from reader suggestions from the Facebook group “Reading Zombie.” Enjoy!
Survive the infection. Survive the Infected.
A new strain of the flu is spreading across Asia, Africa, and Europe. Disturbing scenes are flooding social media and the 24-hour news channels. People are worried. They’re frightened.
Too many dismiss the stories as infotainment hype.
But the virus is here. It’s running through the alleys and clawing its way into the suburbs. And it’s in your parents’ living room, in the veins of a deranged man murdering your mother.
Do you run? Do you freeze in fright? Or do you fight?
The Slow Burn Series
Book 1 – Zero Day
Book 2 – Infected
Book 3 – Destroyer
Book 4 – Dead Fire
Book 5 – Torrent
Book 6 – Bleed
Book 7 – City of Stin
Book 8 – Grind
Book 9 – Sanctum
Start the adventure.
A relentless thrill ride. . . Break out the popcorn, you’re in for a real treat. –Harry Shannon, author of Dead and Gone
Battered by five cataclysmic hurricanes in three weeks, the Texas Gulf Coast and half of the Lone Star State is reeling from the worst devastation in history. Thousands are dead or dying–but the worst is only beginning. Amid the wreckage, something unimaginable is happening: a deadly virus has broken out, returning the dead to life–with an insatiable hunger for human flesh. . .
The Nightmare Begins
Within hours, the plague has spread all over Texas. San Antonio police officer Eddie Hudson finds his city overrun by a voracious army of the living dead. Along with a small group of survivors, Eddie must fight off the savage horde in a race to save his family. . .
Hell On Earth
There’s no place to run. No place to hide. The zombie horde is growing as the virus runs rampant. Eddie knows he has to find a way to destroy these walking horrors. . .but he doesn’t know the price he will have to pay. . .
“Hair-raising. Do yourself a favor and snag a copy. . . thank me later.” –Gene O’Neill, author of Deathflash
“A merciless, fast-paced and genuinely scary read that will leave you absolutely breathless.” –Brian Keene
It was a flu season like no other. With the H1N1 virus running rampant throughout the country, people lined up in droves to try and attain one of the coveted vaccines. What was not known was the effect this largely untested, rushed to market, inoculation was to have on the unsuspecting throngs. Within days, feverish folk throughout the country convulsed, collapsed, and died, only to be reborn. With a taste for brains, blood, and bodies, these modern-day zombies scoured the lands for their next meal. Overnight the country became a killing ground for the hordes of zombies that ravaged the land.
This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family, and his friends: a band of ordinary people trying to get by in extraordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike, a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for. Book one of the Zombie Fallout Trilogy follows our lead character at his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road, always skirting the edge of insanity.
Can he keep his family safe? Can he discover the secret behind Tommy’s powers? Can he save anyone from the zombie queen? Encircled in a seemingly safe haven called Little Turtle, Mike and his family, together with the remnants of a tattered community, must fight against a relentless, ruthless, unstoppable force. This last bastion of civilization has made its final stand. God help them all.
In 1968, the world experienced a brand-new kind of terror with the debut of George A. Romero’s landmark movie Night of the Living Dead. The newly dead rose to attack the living. Not as vampires or werewolves. This was something new . . . and terrifying. Since then, zombies have invaded every aspect of popular culture.
But it all started on that dreadful night in a remote farmhouse. . . .
Nights of the Living Dead returns to that night, to the outbreak, to where it all began. New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry teams with the godfather of the living dead himself, George A. Romero, to present a collection of all-new tales set during the forty-eight hours of that legendary outbreak.
Nights of the Living Dead includes stories by some of today’s most important writers: Brian Keene, Carrie Ryan, Chuck Wendig, Craig E. Engler, David J. Schow, David Wellington, Isaac Marion, Jay Bonansinga, Joe R. Lansdale, John A. Russo, John Skipp, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Max Brallier, Mike Carey, Mira Grant, Neal and Brenda Shusterman, and Ryan Brown. Plus original stories by Romero and Maberry!
For anyone who loves scary stories, take a bite out of this!
Dark of Night:
The dead rose. We fell.
The survivors are trapped in a world of monsters who prey on the helpless. Some of them are zombies…but they are not the only predators who feed on pain and suffering.
DARK OF NIGHT is a story of worlds in collision. Three heroes who have survived the apocalypse are in a deadly race to save a busload of children from ravenous zombies and ruthless human scavengers.
This brand new novella brings together three of New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry’s award-winning novel series.
Captain Joe Ledger (PATIENT ZERO and CODE ZERO), Officer Desdemona Fox (DEAD OF NIGHT and FALL OF NIGHT), and Rachael Elle (BITS & PIECES, a Rot & Ruin novel) are caught between an endless wave of the living dead and an army of corrupt men who want to enslave the last human survivors.
Jonathan Maberry teams with debut novelist Rachael Lavin to tell a sweeping story of adventure, horror, and heroism.
Flesh and Fire:
In the midst of a midlife crisis, Todd is haunted by Chloe, the lover who died not long after their relationship ended. When Chloe escapes Hell in search of the peaceful rest that has eluded her, a demon named Samael is on her trail and she needs Todd’s help.
While on the run Todd and Chloe face demons real and personal, soul-threatening danger, and their long-buried feelings for each other.
The series is now complete!
So Long, Lollipops (Book 1.5 – novella): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ILKGJ6U
And After (Book 2): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KBWPHA0
All the Stars in the Sky (Book 3): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SW4K268
Cassie Forrest isn’t surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk. Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too.
This is difficult enough, but Cassie’s tag along ex-boyfriend and her friend’s bratty sister have a knack for making everything, even the apocalypse, more unpleasant. When the two attract a threat as deadly as the undead to their safe haven, Cassie’s forced to see how far she’ll go to protect those she loves. And it’s a lot farther than she’d anticipated. This, coupled with Adrian’s distant voice on Safe Zone Radio and, of course, the living dead, threaten to put Cassie right back into the funk she just dragged herself out of.
Survival’s great and all, especially when you have leather armor, good friends and home-brewed beer, but there’s something Cassie must do besides survive: tell Adrian she still loves him. And to do that, Cassie has to find faith that she’s stronger than she thinks, she’s still a crack shot and true love never dies.
There is no sanctuary.
That was taken away in the blink of an eye. Humanity went out not with a whimper, but a bang.
Jack, a sometimes humorous, sometimes philosophical ex-special operations pilot and soldier is one of the few left to struggle through the desolation left in the aftermath; seeking to survive as a new ferocious species emerges from the rubble, hungry and unrelenting. Will his special forces training be enough? Will he be able to keep his children safe and guide the few survivors through perils that now roam the world they once knew? Or will the hordes that now own the night prevail, forever removing the last of mankind from existence? Humankind was once at the top of the food chain. But that has now changed.
This hard-hitting, action-packed series begins with Jack Walker being suddenly thrust into a world where the infrastructure which cherished Armani suits, night clubs, fast and expensive cars and watching the daily stock market are gone. Left in its place is the material world mankind built but a majority of the population has vanished; replaced by a new, savage, unrelenting, cunning, animalistic species which hunts and operates at night.
The classic that helped start a pop culture phenomenon – back in print and UNCUT!
Since it’s 2003 debut, Brian Keene’s THE RISING is one of the best-selling zombie novels of all-time. It has been translated into over a dozen languages, inspired the works of other authors and filmmakers, and has become a cultural touchstone for an entire generation of horror fans.
THE RISING is the story of Jim Thurmond, a determined father battling his way across a post-apocalyptic zombie landscape, to find his young son. Accompanied by Martin, a preacher still holding to his faith, and Frankie, a recovering heroin addict with an indomitable will to survive, Jim travels from state to state and town to town, facing an endless onslaught of undead hordes, and the evils perpetrated by his fellow man.
This brand-new, author’s preferred edition, restores nearly 30,000 words of material that was cut from the original edition. These new chapters, which have never been seen by anyone before now, expand the original story, adding new depths to characters and more horrific situations.
You may think you’ve read THE RISING, but you haven’t read it all until you read this edition!
Deadite Press is proud to present this uncut, author’s preferred edition, which also includes a lengthy essay by the author about the novel’s genesis and history.
The Undead. The number one award winning and bestselling UK zombie horror series.
A deadly infection spreads across Europe.
The Undead Series: A terrifying account of one man desperately struggling to survive this harrowing event.
Visit rrhaywood.com for more about the author.
“5 stars isn’t enough! Far and away the best zombie series around!”
“This is a sure-fire, cult hit of a series ”
“One of the best series out there and one of the best authors of this genre – totally gripping and will have you at the edge of your seat.”
“each and every book will leave you begging for the next one.”
“each one is a masterpiece all on its own.”
“Another amazing instalment.”
“Haywood sure is improving like a fine wine.”
“this story simply gets better and better.”
“Once again the sub plots weave around one another, coming together with quality timing.”
“Each time I finish reading I’m exhausted, overjoyed, anxious and fearful of what’s coming next.”
“Brilliant writing from start to end.”
“Well done RR Haywood, please do not stop doing what you are doing.”
“This has been the best zombie series I’ve read.”
“I cannot begin to describe how exciting and spellbinding The Unread series is.”
“I just want to keep getting lost in the story.”
“I like zombie books. A lot. But the character development, the humour, the action and the banter in this series make it the best I have ever read.”
Deep in an Indonesian jungle, a careless tourist releases an ancient evil that has lain dormant for centuries. Appearing as a virus, completely without symptoms and seemingly benign, Trident quickly infects the world’s population. Silently it waits, counting down to the moment when it will reveal its true, terrifying nature.
It is only weeks before the presidential elections, and Garrison Fox, a decorated Marine and devoted husband and father, is almost assured of a return to the White House for a second term. As the campaign nears its final days, the First Family finds itself scattered across the U.S.
At an Ohio rally and across the globe, Trident suddenly unleashes its horrible power, transforming unsuspecting people into merciless killers driven to feed. When an infected Secret Service turns on him, President Fox is forced to flee across an America plunging deeper into savagery with each passing hour.
In Atlanta, a CDC researcher will work against her own mortality in an effort to stop an extinction-level event. In Pennsylvania, a newly commissioned second lieutenant is hurled into a war for which he was never trained. And moving east toward a secure mountain bunker, President Fox must find a way to save his family, his country and his own life…if he’s not already too late.
*** Get your mitts on this comedy horror novel, set at the start of the zombie apocalypse in the UK. Littered with pop-culture references, this will satisfy fans of Shaun of the Dead or George Romero films. ***
Hungover, dumped and late for work.
On an ordinary day, one of these would be a bad morning, but today Jim Taylor also has to contend with the zombie apocalypse.
Follow Jim during twenty four hours of Day One, as he and his zombie obsessed brother deal with the undead, a doomsday cult and maniacs in their quest to get to their parents, win his girlfriend back and for them to instigate ‘The Plan’.
Worlds will collide and fall apart in a Class Three outbreak.
“A perfect blend of humour and horror.” – Scream Magazine
“Plenty of guts, a shed load of violence, and doused from head to toe in comedy. Absolutely superb stuff.” – DLS Reviews
Philip frowned and looked back. “I don’t mean to burst your bubble el duderino, but an army base in the apocalypse is about as safe as a teenage girl at a Top of the Pops recording in the seventies.”
From the author of FEAST and Reinheit comes a new chapter in horror…
News reports speak of mass panic and violence spreading across the globe. Negligent leaders hide behind misinformation. But in an age of paranoia and suspicion, who can say what is true anymore? Struggling to survive against a sweeping epidemic that has engulfed the planet, survivors will have to make hard choices in a world that no longer makes sense.
Live. Die. Or become one of the undead.