For Halloween Let These Zombie Books Eat Your Brains

Black and white photo of an overpass with the Empire State Building int the background and dark clouds overhead.

by Alan S.

The haunting times are almost here – get in a spooky mood with some of my favorite zombie books.

Zone One by Colson Whitehead (also available in ebook) – If you like your monsters a little more literary, you should start here. Mark Spitz is an uninfected worker assigned to clear Zone One (in Manhattan) of the infected. The book spans three days of work and includes flashbacks of how Mark survived the zombie apocalypse and the reason for his nickname.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion – I have always said that zombies were my favorite monster because you could in no way make them romantic. Marion proves me wrong with Warm Bodies. He tells the story of R, a zombie living in an abandoned airport who falls in love with a human girl name Julie after eating the brain of her boyfriend. I thought I would hate my favorite monster becoming a love interest, but this is one of my favorite zombie books.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (also available in ebook and eaudio) – In this zombie/alternate history novel, Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields during the Civil War and change American history as we know it. The Native and Negro Re-education Act requires some children to be trained to kill the dead. Jane is sent from Kentucky to Miss Preston’s School on Combat in Baltimore. When families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. This is the beginning of a series, so be ready to commit.

The Girl With All the Gifts by M R Carey (also available in ebook and eaudio) – In another different sort of zombie novel, we meet Melanie, in a classroom full of other children like her. They are a special group of “hungries,” people infected with a fungus that turns them into zombies. The hungries normally lose their mental function, but the children in the class have retained their mental cognition and only lose control when they get too close to human scent. The base that houses their school is attacked, and the adults must learn to trust Melanie, as she is their best hope to survive outside the base.

Feed by Mira Grant – In the world of Feed, two viruses created to cure cancer and the common cold combine to form the Kellis-Amberlee superbug, which soon infects all mammals. If it amplifies, the host becomes a zombie. Amplification can happen with the death of the host, being bitten by an amplified host, or spontaneously. The book starts twenty years after the infection and centers on bloggers George, Shaun, and Buffy. When the presidential campaign they are covering is attacked by zombies, the bloggers go on a mission to discover the truth behind the attack and, ultimately, the virus.

Cell by Stephen King (also available in ebook) – King is my favorite author, so I couldn’t do a list without including this one. When a pulse is sent out over the global cell network, everyone using a cell phone at that time turns into a mindless zombie-like killer. Clay is in Boston when it hits and teams up with Tom and Alice to survive. They make their way to Maine to check on Clay’s family and find the zombies are starting to band together in a sort of network, making them difficult to escape.

I hope these titles can get you in the Halloween mood. Was your favorite zombie novel not on my list? Tell me in the comments.

Alan has worked for HCLS for just under 25 years, currently at the Savage Branch. He enjoys reading, television, and most sports.

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