10 Apocalyptic Books: Say Hello to the World of Zombies and Such

The possibility of a post-apocalyptic world is brought to life in the following ten novels that bring to light a very terrifying subject: zombies.

With plots that involve human-brain consuming zombies from the world of the living dead and often full of blood and plenty of gore, these ten stories will keep you hooked while possibly not letting you turn off the light at night.

10. Patient Zero, by Jonathan Maberry

First Published: 2009

What It’s About:

Joe Ledger is a detective in Baltimore and he has been recruited by the government to lead a special force of agents that have been assigned the task of handling a special problem that is too much for even Homeland security to handle. The special group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS. Now Ledger is on a race against the clock to stop a group of terrorists who are about to release a horrific bio-weapon into the atmosphere. This is no ordinary weapon, it’s a chemical that turns ordinary people into zombies.

Why You Should Read It:

The interesting part of this story is that the reader gets an insight into the protagonist Joe Ledger’s mind through his best friend and psychotherapist which gives an added dimension to the plot. Read it to get an insight into a new form of terrorist groups, one which has figured out how to use zombies to destroy all of mankind.

Best Quote:

“When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week, then there’s either something wrong with your skills or something wrong with your world. And there’s nothing wrong with my skills.”

9. Happy Hour of the Damned, by Mark Henry

First Published: 2008

What It’s About:

Amanda Feral is a recently deceased resident of Seattle. She is trying to find her feet in the world of the undead in Seattle all the while wearing sky-high stilettos, a designer handbag and plenty of goth makeup. She has now begun feasting on human flesh while guzzling vodka cocktails. The world of the undead is full of celebrities, shapeshifters, devilish characters, werewolves and other bloodsuckers. One day, Amanda’s undead friend disappears after texting her the word ‘help’ and this is when Amanda realizes the underworld of Seattle is about to change for the worse.

Why You Should Read It:

If you enjoyed the humor of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the popular TV show from the 1990s, or the movie Zombieland, then this book will appeal to you, but it’s a lot darker. Horror, humor, and gore, this novel has it all. Do make sure you have a strong stomach before attempting this page-turner.

Best Quote:

“We were looking hotter than hell, and ready to burn it down.”

8. The Rising, by Brian Keene

First Published: 2003

What It’s About:

A particle accelerator experiment has gone horribly wrong and has resulted in the opening of an interdimensional portal which allows demons to possess the dead. An infestation of deadly zombies results in utter panic. Jim Thurmond is the protagonist of this post-apocalyptic story, and the construction worker has survived so far by living in a bomb shelter that was constructed a few years ago. A distraught Jim is contemplating suicide while hiding out when suddenly he receives a text from his son Danny claims he is hiding from zombies in the attic of his mother’s home. Jim must now rescue his son who is trapped hundreds of miles away. On the mission across the country, Jim is joined by a colorful cast of characters, including a scientist, a preacher and an ex-prostitute and the group must find a way to survive the evil that grows steadily all around them.

Why You Should Read It:

This zombie horror novel won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel in 2003. Brian Keene seamlessly blends horror with suspense in this zombie-fest.

Best Quote:

“We are many. Our number is greater than the stars. We are more than infinity.”

7. The Last Bastion of the Living, by Rhiannon Frater

First Published: 2012

What It’s About:

Behind a high mountain range lies the walled region of The Bastion. With a massive gate protecting the entrance of the city from the outside world, residents of the walled city live in constant fear of the undead creatures that roam outside, known as the Inferi Scourge. Disaster strikes when one day the gate is breached and the Inferi Scourge destroys the human settlements living in the walled city. Several decades later, the remaining humans are still struggling to survive in a city whose resources are quickly finishing. Maria Martinez has lived within the walled city her entire life and now wishes to leave the overcrowded city with its food shortages and atmosphere of despair mixed with fear. When Maria is asked to take part in a secretive operation to destroy the Inferi Scourge, she must risk everything for the future of the human race.

Why You Should Read It:

A fast paced zombie thriller with a fearless female protagonist. Disaster novels rarely have female leading characters and this story has a female that displays remarkable courage.

Best Quote:

“I love her and I know she’s strong enough to handle anything.”

6. The Loving Dead, by Amelia Beamer

First Published: 2010

What It’s About:

Two twenty-something roommates in Oakland hills, Kate and Michael, both work at a supermarket together. One evening the two are at a house party when a fast moving zombie virus begins to spread throughout the partygoers. Drunken revelry soon turns into a nightmare. The zombie plague spreads through sex and even through kissing, turning its victims into mindless, lust-filled killers. Michael and Kate must try to stay alive by heading to the one place in the Bay Area that remains safe: Alcatraz.

Why You Should Read It:

This is the first novel by Beamer and blends erotica with horror, using an unusual method for the zombie virus to spread. This is the retelling of the zombie apocalypse with several fresh twists and turns. Read this if you want an offbeat zombie story with lots of suspense and some very questionable and absurd behavior by both zombies and humans.

Best Quote:

“They were all looking at him with an unpronounceable hunger.”

5. World War Z, by Max Brooks

First Published: 2006

What It’s About:

Max Brooks, the protagonist of this story is researching the Zombie War, which came as close as possible to destroying mankind forever. Max travels all over the world to get first-hand accounts of the survivors. He travels all over the United States and to the remotest part of the Earth, including the infamous village of New Dachang in China, where the zombie virus originated with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero. The result of Brooks’s research is the document known as ‘World War Z’. Traveling to a number of frightening places, including the Southern part of Africa, the author creates a haunting account of the horrific nature of what the survivors went through.

Why You Should Read It:

The author of this bestselling novel has the ability to bring to life the zombie apocalypse in this smartly written account of what remains a fictitious oral history of events. The story is extremely well-written and engaging, feeling almost like a non-fiction account of a tragedy that actually took place. Fans of the movie adaptation will find the book even more enjoyable.

Best Quote:

“Lies are neither bad nor good. Like a fire they can either keep you warm or burn you to death, depending on how they’re used.”

4. Monster Island, by David Wellington

First Published: 2004

What It’s About:

The story takes place exactly one month after a global disaster has destroyed much of the modern world. Some of the most developed nations around the world have now given way to the murderous zombie population. Very few areas have humans that have survived the zombie apocalypse, including Somalia since it has a fierce arsenal of weapons. Meanwhile, New York remains riddled with zombies that walk the streets, constantly hungry for human flesh. However, one of the zombies stands out from the others because though his appetite matches the others, he has managed to retain his human brain and therefore, intelligence. This person is Gary Fleck, an eyewitness to the destruction of humanity and may just know the person responsible for everything. Meanwhile, a group of sixteen-year-old schoolgirls arrive on Monster Island,

on a mission to find medicine and are prepared to take on anything that comes in their path.

Why You Should Read It:

A fun, unflinching look at the murderous zombies that have invaded the planet, this book will be hard to put down for any true fan of the zombie genre.

Best Quote:

“I will not negotiate with the undead!”

3. Dust, by Joan Frances Turner

First Published: 2010

What It’s About:

Nine years ago Jessie was involved in a car crash that took her life, and after she was buried, she awoke and rose up from under the Earth. Jessie was reborn as a zombie. Now she has a gang that she sticks with, exploring the darkest corners of the night time. Jessie is in love with a maggot-infested corpse called Joe and the two hunt, fight and dance together. Humans avoid zombie gangs as much as they can and live in constant fear of encountering them. Despite having died, things were going well for Jessie, until she and her gang come across new creatures in the woods, creatures which are neither zombie nor human.

Why You Should Read It:

The author has brought a breath of fresh air into the zombie genre. For example, the zombies in this story can communicate with one another telepathically. Secondly, humans are aware of the transformation of the dead into zombies and therefore bury the dead away from highly populated areas. These are just a few of the aspects of this fascinating book that takes a look at a girl and her life as a zombie and how her troubles don’t vanish simply because she has shed her human form.

Best Quote:

“Isn’t it wonderful when people do that, when you put all your faith in their being selfish and self -centered and not giving a damn and it turns out, all that time, you were wrong?”

2. Zombie, Ohio, by Scott Kenemore

First Published: 2011

What It’s About:

During a zombie outbreak in rural Ohio, a professor from an Ohio college dies in a car crash. Professor Peter Mellor is reborn as a zombie and is able to see life around him from an entirely new point of view, that of the living dead. As Peter sees the violence around him rapidly increase he becomes increasingly anti-human. He sees that humans are unsympathetic to the plight of the zombies, a race which now includes him. With his old friends alienating him due to his new form as a member of the living dead, matters are made worse when Peter finds out his car accident was not actually an accident. Now Peter is determined to use his new abilities as a zombie to solve his own murder.

Why You Should Read It:

If you enjoy detective stories, then you will sink your claws into this zombie story with a mysterious plotline.

Best Quote:

“Jesus and shotguns, I thought as I pulled away. They weren’t good or bad, they just were.”

1. Zone One, by Colson Whitehead

First Published: 2010

What It’s About:

This is a horror novel set in a post-apocalyptic world where a zombie infestation has caused massive destruction on planet Earth. Now mankind is divided into those that are infected and those who are yet to be infected. As the zombie plague begins to recede, Americans begin the rebuilding of civilization as instructed by the temporary government based in Buffalo. The establishment of Manhattan is the sole priority right now and zone one has been captured by the military. This term refers to a specific part of the island. Unfortunately, many infected squatters still remain scattered all over the region and now civilian volunteers have been asked to clear out the more difficult variety of zombies. Mark Spitz is one such civilian involved in the clean up efforts of Zone One with the present story being set over three days.

Why You Should Read It:

Life in a post-apocalyptic world as seen through the eyes of the survivors makes for an addictive read. Just when things begin to look up, everything starts to go wrong. This is a spine chilling story that oscillates between the past and present.

Best Quote:

“We never see other people anyway, only the monsters we make of them.”

Conclusion

These ten chilling novels are a mix of horror, humor, and captivating storytelling, capturing the essence of a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic world. While some are full to the brim with blood and gore, others rely on intelligent sleuthing to paint a vivid picture of the zombies that terrorize mankind.

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