On Sunday night, AMC’s The Walking Dead kicked off its fourth season in grand style—and if you’re anything like me, you may now be in the process of seeking out an excellent zombie novel to fill up the hours until the next episode. Here are three awesome new releases I’d recommend, all of them very different:
1. The Dead Run, by Adam Mansbach
Released just a few weeks ago, this novel—set near the Mexican-American border—is a badass fusion of crime fiction, Aztec mythology, and supernatural thriller. It has two intertwining storyline. One follows a guy named Jess Galvan, who, after getting himself thrown into a Mexican jail, accepts a seemingly easy deal for his freedom, while the other centers on a girl named Sherry as she tries to escape a sadistic cult leader bent on using her in some arcane ritual. Fans of Breaking Bad will also LOVE this novel: there’s a cast of morally bankrupt characters, Mexican crime lords, biker gangs, jaw-dropping brutality…and did I mention an army of virgin zombies?
2. The n-Body Problem, by Tony Burgess
Burgess is arguably one of the most under-appreciated writers in the business. Anyone who has read Pontypool Changes Everything or People Live Still in Cashtown Corners knows that this guy is a twisted genius—and The n-Body Problem is yet another perfect example of his dark talent, spanning the science fiction, zombie fiction, and literary fiction genres. It’s set in a world where humankind has ended the zombie apocalypse by literally jettisoning billions of bodies into space; the population is now feeling the strange effects of having so many undead corpses in its orbit. The sunlight has changed, as have the people: there’s outbreaks of mass violence and suicide cults, and everyone is in the process of slow decay. The n-Body Problem is a sick little masterpiece—and definitely not for everyone—but I can say this: all those who read it will be changed when they finish it.
3. The Savage Dead, by Joe McKinney
McKinney’s latest release—the first in a new series fittingly called The Dead—is a bloody page-turner of a novel. It revolves around a former Delta Force operative named Juan Perez, who has been hired by a presidential candidate, Senator Rachel Sutton, as security. Sutton has relentlessly gone after the Mexican drug cartels, making more than a few enemies. When one of the cartel heads develops a flesh-eating bacterium that turns its victims into insatiably hungry zombies, and plans to release the plague on a cruise ship on which Sutton is vacationing, Perez is tasked with saving the senator…and quite possibly all of humankind. Powered by pedal-to-the-metal pacing, great character development, and more than a few wild plot twists, this novel gets two stinking, decomposing thumbs up!
What are you reading between your favorite fall shows?