BEST ZOMBIE NOVEL: Brian Keene's The Rising: If you want to be scared…I mean legitimately-nightmare-for-weeks scared…this is the book for you. The zombies can reason, they can talk, and they retain their memory for the explicit purpose of using it to hunt down the main character--and your dreams. AMAZING.
BEST ZOMBIE SERIES: Reign of the Dead and Reign of the Dead: Outbreak and Reign of the Dead: Apocalypse End: I don't know—it is just fun. The zombies are shufflers, the characters are fighters, the cities are good and destroyed. Fun for everyone!
2ND BEST ZOMBIE SERIES: Monster Island and Monster Nation and Monster Planet by David Wellington. To be honest, the first two are the best---the last? Meh. Monster Island and Monster Nation are great though! Romero would be proud of the staggering, drooling, growling z-boys. The sheer numbers are what get you though—I mean—hello? There is enough of them to dominate an entire nation/planet.
BEST SHORT STORIES FEATURING ZOMBIES : The Living Dead compiled by John Adams and featuring Poppy Z Brite and Stephen King. These are great and creepy. A good short story for a long bath on a stormy night. They are all fast-paced and I have a total girl crush on Poppy Z Brite.
AWESOMELY COOL POSTMODERN ZOMBIE FICTION: World War Z: Max Brooks. I'm warning you now that this is definitely a post-modern novel. In fact, it reads like a history. It jumps around, the narratives can be a little fragmented, and you can start to feel a little dizzy with all the different forms of communication but frankly, my dear, you won't give a damn. The plot is just.that.freaking.good. If you don't have it in your zombie novel collection, go out and get it!
NEW ZOMBIE NOVEL I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH: Apocalypse of the Dead Joe McKinney. This was a totally random find. The best part? He has more! This starts after the entire south-east coast from Texas to Mississippi in a flooded out quarantine. They have built a wall to hold back the zombie masses. Unfortunately, there are survivors trapped in there with the water-logged, slimy bastards. The first book is actually Quarantine but I'm going to have to go back and read that one. I started with book number two. Great ride! Can't wait to read the others.
BEST ZOMBIE NOVEL THAT IS SORTA NOT A ZOMBIE NOVEL: Risen by J. Knight. I have to mention this one, because although this is more about corpses being taken over by demons (ala Brian Keene), it really does employ some of the creepy-nastiness that makes up good zombie fiction. Lots of creepy zombie imagery along with weird hypnosis/telepathy edge. Good stuff!
BEST WE LOST THE WAR AND THERE IS NO HOPE ZOMBIE NOVEL: Feed by Mira Grant. This is another post-modern one that might make you a little dizzy, but it is worth it. Besides, it is told by a chic whose name is Georgia to pay homage to George Romero—I mean—hello? I won't tell you the end, but the way they START solving the problem of living in the z-world, I already thought of, like, years ago. Just
Honorable Mentions:Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne; Cell by Stephen King; Plague of the Dead by Z. A. Recht; Twilight of the Dead by Travis Adkins; The Cell by Stephen King; Thunder and Ashes by Z.A. Reicht
Overrated: Avoid These:Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies; Breathers: A Zombie's Lament; History is Dead
If you have ANY suggestions—zombie or just good horror fiction—please comment!