The best books that take zombies in a new direction

C.J. Fisher Author Of Enemy Rising
By C.J. Fisher

Who am I?

Has anyone ever said that someday they would eat you? Well, I used to be able to say no to that question too… until the day someone did. The blood-thirsty declaration of a madman reawakened a game of “what if” that my brothers and I used to play when we were kids. What if the world was swallowed in a zombie outbreak? Who would survive? Were the creatures shufflers or runners? Did they only want brains or the whole body? Was the disease airborne or only transferrable through a bite?  As mad as the man with the munchies had been, my writer’s mind couldn’t stop running with the question. What if zombies…  


I wrote...

Enemy Rising

By C.J. Fisher,

Book cover of Enemy Rising

What is my book about?

In 1803, General Robert Wellesley launched an unauthorized British takeover of India. In 1804, the dead began to devour the living. Things haven't been the same since.

Cursed creatures wander the plains of India, stumble through her jungles, and invade the cities of the people. In a world turned upside down, an orphaned half-caste, a young Brit soldier, a princess, and a prince find their lives intertwined in the struggle for survival. Destiny pushes them together in unexpected ways, but enemies from within threaten to tear them apart. Together can they form a united front and save the world from a wave of the undead?

The books I picked & why

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The Death Cure

By James Dashner,

Book cover of The Death Cure

Why this book?

Teens, monsters, mind control, conspiracies. Dashner’s YA book packs a punch and forms a fantastic conclusion to the Maze Runner trilogy. I personally loved that while the world’s biggest crisis is a zombie outbreak, the character’s struggle for survival began at a far more basic level – the teens’ need to know what lies beyond their clinical artificial reality.  

Each character is faced with enemies from without – monster and man, but they also need to come to terms with themselves. Do they embrace the old shadow of their former selves? Or do they find out who they can become in a new more dangerous world?  Each character is faced with a myriad of moral dilemmas that outweigh the threat of the monsters created by the flare, and it makes for a fantastic read.

The Death Cure

By James Dashner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Death Cure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Reapers Are the Angels

By Alden Bell,

Book cover of The Reapers Are the Angels

Why this book?

This book had to make it into my list, because while it does have zombies, and terrifying ones at that, they serve as the backdrop for the heroine Temple to work out her inner demons while interacting with individuals who haven’t necessarily worked out their own. Ultimately, Temple is on a hero’s journey akin to the great journeys of Hercules, Jason, and Icarus.

I’ve always loved a flawed tragic hero, and I think Bell did a fantastic job not just with Temple, but with the rest of the cast. He managed to create a whole cadre of raw complex characters whose tragic and yet relatable actions will keep the reader in a constant state of agitation and hope.

The Reapers Are the Angels

By Alden Bell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Reapers Are the Angels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

God is a slick god. Temple knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe...

Older than her years and completely alone, Temple is just trying to live one day at a time in a post-apocalyptic world, where the undead roam endlessly, and the remnant of mankind who have survived, at times, seem to retain little humanity themselves.

This is the world she was born into. Temple has known nothing else. Her journey takes her to far-flung places, to people struggling to maintain some semblance of civilization - and to those who…


Warm Bodies

By Isaac Marion,

Book cover of Warm Bodies

Why this book?

I think Warm Bodies is perfect for a more mature audience. Personally, I’ve always been a Romeo and Juliet fan, and I love that Marion was bold enough to put a twist on the story that no one saw coming – the hot-blooded Romeo is transformed into the cold undead R. And yet in a world where violent delights seem to have no end, Julie proves to be the spark to the powder that ignites R’s cold heart once again. Marion’s prose is packed with cynical wit, and the story served as an oddly brilliant medium for tackling the modern everyman’s oppressive status quo.

Warm Bodies

By Isaac Marion,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Warm Bodies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The zombie novel with a heart', Guardian

Now a major motion picture starring Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer and John Malkovich, Warm Bodies is the ultimate zombie read this Halloween.

'R' is a zombie. He has no name, no memories, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows - warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons…


Feed

By Mira Grant,

Book cover of Feed

Why this book?

I have to be honest, it’s hard not to recommend a zombie book set in a world where the cure for the common cold caused the outbreak. Given the current situation, it’s just too good of a play on all our fears. Of course, Feed predates the Covid-19 pandemic by nearly a decade, but it’s still a fantastic premise.  

The humans in Feed react to the virus in a predictable manner – lockdowns, blood checks, and rigorous government control. Set in this dystopia, the story follows a Newsie blogger and her band as they seek to unravel a conspiracy that could further mar the American landscape. Personally, I love Grant’s ability to build suspense and layer carnage with conspiracy.

Feed

By Mira Grant,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Feed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BOOK 1 IN THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SERIES

'Gripping, thrilling and brutal . . . a masterpiece of suspense' Publishers Weekly

'The zombie novel Robert A. Heinlein might have written' Sci-Fi Magazine

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives -…


Raising Stony Mayhall

By Daryl Gregory,

Book cover of Raising Stony Mayhall

Why this book?

Stony Mayhall is not like other boys. Discovered as a baby with a still heart but a moving body he is, as you may have guessed, among the undead. Nevertheless, the introspective witty youth will win your heart in the end. 

I personally love this zombie story’s deep dive into zombie politics and Stony’s anti-hero arc as he tries to discover the meaning of his own existence. And despite the heavy weight that puts on a zombie, Daryl Gergory still manages to have a lot of fun with the characters, the premise, and the plot.

Raising Stony Mayhall

By Daryl Gregory,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Raising Stony Mayhall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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