Title: Z: Zombie Stories
Editor: J. M. Lassen
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Release Date: September 27, 2011
What sets apart Z: Zombie Stories is the population it focuses on. Instead of the adults, who are often cast as the victors and victims during the zombie apocalypse, this book is all about the younger crowd. What is it like to come of age while zombies are taking over the world? Now you’ll know.
There are a number of noteworthy stories in this collection. Authors such as Darrell Schweitzer, Christine Morgan, and Catherynne M. Valente contribute to a wonderful exploration of the zombie genre. I was particularly drawn to a few of the stories, as they included common themes and interesting characters that I loved.
“Family Business” by Jonathan Mayberry makes me think that it’s a thinly veiled Supernatural story. Substitute the family business of “hunting” for “zombie killing” and you pretty much have the set-up for this short story. We even get the brotherly bond starting in a similar vein of Dean and Sam — a young child having his tiny brother thrust into his arms by his parent and ordered to provide protection.
“The Wrong Grave” by Kelly Link tells the story of a resurrection gone wrong. Miles is a quirky character who loved and lost his girlfriend, but he’s more concerned with the original poetry he buried her with. Too bad he dug up the wrong body.
“You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Scott Nicholson is set in North Carolina and is told from the viewpoint of a younger narrator. I liked seeing the changing world through her eyes, since she doesn’t fully understand what’s going on, but she’s trying to make sense of it anyway.
“The Third Dead Body” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman is told from a recently resurrected zombie’s perspective. The story was interesting to see how a member of the undead would or would not come to terms with her changed status.
I can honestly say that I was entertained the entire way through. I’ll be re-reading this collection again soon. If you’re a fan of the zombie genre and want to see a whole new perspective on the undead, Z: Zombie Stories is the book for you. Check it out today!
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars