Zombies eh, they’re pretty weird. There’ve been a great many books written about them, and the different ways they’re portrayed. I’ve read a fair few, because, well, its expected of me I think.
One of my favorite types of fiction is now labelled as “Urban Fantasy”. It used to just fall into science fiction and fantasy, but I guess having a different label helps me get straight to what I want to read. Zombies fit neatly inside that too. They could be classed as horror I guess, but honestly? I don’t find zombies by themselves too scary.
I think clever authors cottoned on to that, and in tweaking the situations slightly, they make us care/scare easier.
Recently, I finished reading ‘The Girl with all the gifts’ by M R Carey (also know as Mike Carey if you’re familiar with the Felix Castor series). We picked it up as soon as we found out it was available. Our local bookshop (The Big Green Bookshop) recommended it, and were having a promotional event with Mike at a local pub.
So, with no knowledge of what the book was about, I opened it up, and started reading. Two days later, after short breaks to feed & bath the kids, I finished it.
The cover blurb reads;
NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class.
When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh.
Melanie is a very special girl.
Now, its been a few months since I read it, but this book still holds some powerful memories for me. Melanie is a ten year old girl (if my memory holds right) and almost instantly hit every fatherly vibe in my body.
I really don’t want to give away any spoilers at all, but I think I can safely say that the world the book takes place in has pretty much gone to hell. A plague/disease has pretty much wiped out mankind, except for a few pockets of survivors, who’d fortified a city and are carrying on as best as they can. The plague/disease has caused its victims to become a type of zombie.
The book opens up inside of an army base, and is told from Melanies point of view.
Its beautifully written, and there were several moments that caused an upwelling emotion of sadness and happiness, mixed together.
I’m not going to ruin it for you though, this is really a book that everyone should read. I’d link to it on Amazon, but instead go visit your local independent bookshop. They’ll be really happy to see you!
The second set of Zombie-ish books I’m reading at the moment are by Charlie Higson. This one you can blame ‘The Big Green Bookshop’ for.
My son used to attend a book group at the shop, and each week they’d vote on which book to read next time. They’d devour the book, then they’d mark it out of ten. Sometimes they’d have competitions to win prizes like signed books. One of these books was by Charlie Higson. ‘The Enemy’which my son won.
This book was listed as a young adult book, set in London during what amounts to a zombie plague. Though, this plague only affects people aged 15 and older. The book jumps between the viewpoint of several of the kids as they adapt to survive, and fight off “the sickos”
For a young adult book, I was surprised at some of the carnage and deaths involved. Though in hindsight… As a 11-15 year old, I was pretty gruesome myself.
There’ve now been a million (5 or 6) of books in this series, and some of them occur a the same time as each other, focusing on different groups of Children. Charlie Higson writes kids that are easy to love/hate, and seems to have the morals of Joss Whedon or George RR Martin when it comes to killing off main characters.
I’m still devouring each of these ‘young adult’ books (despite not being so young any more, (nor an adult if you ask my OH))
Books though, Books are my zombie virus, and hopefully if you’ve made it this far, I’ve bitten you, and now you’ll be wandering the aisles of your local bookshop, arms outstretched, moaning “PPaaaaaggggesssss”.