From Frankenstein to Rick Grimes, the zombie is an enduring and evocative Halloween creature that has taken many forms over the years. From the mind controlled undead slave to Romero’s hordes of Ghouls, there are many ways that authors have portrayed this creature. As a continuation of my Halloween recommendations I have decided to focus this post on great zombie novels for recommendations.
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi
Since George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead first graced the silver screen, zombies have been used as socio-political alegory, after all, they are us, just a few shades greyer and far less conversational. Frankenstein in Baghdad takes place in 2005 Baghdad when a stitched-together corpse goes missing and reports of a walking corpse begin to be reported. This story does a great job of immersing the reader into this place and this world. An interesting modern twist on a classic concept, this story is one worth reading if you are looking for something new to spice up your hordes of the undead.
World War Z by Max Brooks
This classic anthology is probably the best example of what the zombie can be. It reads as a collection of primary accounts from across the globe tracking a zombie apolocolypse. If you have seen the Brad Pitt film and were hoping for something similar to that movie, I have some bad news for you, no 4 story ladders made out of zombies in this book. Brooks grounds the zombies with “realistic” rules that take things like muscle degeneration and climate into account. Very well-written and a must-read for any zombie fans out there.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
This Young Adult novel takes place generations after a zombie apocolypse ravages the planet, in a small village with walls that serve as the only thing separating its inhabitants from the hordes of undead outside. When the day comes when the walls are breached, it is up to the protagonist Mary to explore into the forest of hands and teeth and into the outside world to find refuge and survive in the wake of her horrific predicament.
These titles and many more horrifying tales are all available at your Davenport Public Library. For more recommendations like these to get you into the Halloween spirit, check out our Halloween LibGuide for more wretched recommendations.
I remember playing the original State of Decay on my Xbox 360 and I loved it. Scavenging, surviving and strategizing with my own group of survivors gave so much freedom and options for how to play without it being too overwhelming. The one glaring issue that I had with the first game was that I couldn’t play it with friends. It was single player only. This is an issue that developer Undead Labs aimed to remedy with the sequel. Multiplayer play is the biggest feature added to State of Decay 2 and it works beautifully.
State of Decay 2 is an RPG mixed with some strategy game elements like community and base management. You play as any of the survivors that you have recruited into your community and establish bases, outposts and form alliances (and conflict) with other communities that you come into contact with in the open world, all while having to fight off the hordes of the undead. State of Decay 2 has a feature that is unique for current games. Permadeath. If one of your survivors dies when going on a scavenging expedition, they stay dead, no respawn, no returning to the last game save. This creates a sense of tension and intrigue even on the most mundane of errands that takes the player outside of their base.
If you played the original State of Decay, then this sequel gives you everything from the original but a lot more of it. With three full fleshed-out maps to build your community of survivors in, you can put hours and hours into just going through each of the areas and clearing out zombie infestations and blood plague areas. There is also a story mode that follows the quest to create a cure for the zombie plague. Once you complete the story missions on one of the three maps, you are given the option to relocate your community onto one of the other two maps and continue playing through the story there.
I recommend State of Decay 2 for anyone that is a fan of RPGs or the zombie horror genre, and I doubly recommend it if you are someone like me who is a fan of both. It has a ton of replay value, just enough depth to keep the player intrigued and the multiplayer options make the game a million times more fun to play.
State of Decay 2 is an Xbox One exclusive available at the Davenport Public Library.
What would you do if you couldn’t remember who you are? If when you tried to remember your past experiences, you froze and realized you couldn’t remember anything? This problem happens to Gwen on a daily basis, but luckily she’s found a way to sort of fix this problem: she eats the brains of the recently deceased. Did I forget to mention Gwen is a zombie? She is…
In iZombie: Dead to the World, readers are introduced to the undead life of Gwen Dylan, a zombie who works as a gravedigger at an eco-friendly cemetery and who also lives in one of the vaults at said cemetery. Gwen keeps company with a were-terrier that she’s nicknamed Spot and a ghost best friend who has been dead since the 1960s. If her life sounds weird already, Gwen has to eat a human brain about once a month, so she doesn’t turn full zombie and also so she can keep her memories intact. Interesting little tidbit about that brain eating: Gwen is flooded by the dead person’s memories and thoughts right after she eats their brains and as a result, she feels the urge to help them fill their last requests: be it through finding their killer or delivering a message to their mourning families. Gwen has a lot on her plate, but she soon discovers that there are visitors to her town who are there to kill any paranormal creature who is existing when they should really be dead. Throw in Halloween, a full moon, a pack of blood-thirsty female vampires, and a mysterious mummy man who wants Gwen to join him in his killing of not-so-innocent people, and Gwen soon realizes her peaceful life is about to go crazy.
If this first volume sounds interesting to you, keep your eyes on our shelves for the release of the next three volumes. You can also check out the television show, iZombie, whose first season is available for check out at all three Davenport Public Library locations.