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Four Zombie Books That Take the Genre in Different Directions

Zombies. Zombies are awesome. The stories of zombies are unsettling, scary, and violently graphic. There are many zombie stories out there. All of them are similar but different. The challenge is making them different enough to not look like a paper-cutter version of all the others. Here are four zombie books that take the genre in different directions and different time periods.

Viking Dead (Tomes of the Dead), by Toby Venables

Set in Northern Europe, in 976 AD, this story follows Bjólf and the Viking crew of the ship Hrafn. After a battle, Bjolf and his crew sail up an unknown river. They find themselves in a land where the dead don’t stay dead. They hear stories of a dark castle and black ships filled with undead berzerkers. Now they can’t leave. Trapped by the black ships, their only options are to fight the shambling undead of the forest, invade the castle to find answers or join the undead ranks.

This book goes against the future apocalypse trope and instead inserts undead into the time of Vikings. I imagine the action, Viking vs. Zombie Viking, of this story will be well worth the read.

My Life as A White Trash Zombie, by Diana Rowland

On the humorous side, Diana Rowland’s series follows Angel Crawford. Angel is a high school dropout, can’t hold a job, and has a pill addiction and a criminal record. Her life is a mess. After a car accident, she finds herself ‘unharmed’ in the ER. She’s now part of the undead, and she has a job offer at the morgue.

This book seems like a nice casual cozy read. This is a completely different take on the Zombie genre and if there are a few laughs along the way, I am all in.

Empire, by David Dunwoody

Zombies have taken over the world. Governments have been crippled and after a century of fighting the undead military forces are giving up. The hoards of humans and animals have no natural predators. No one can stop them, except Death. Irritated that the zombies have avoided him for so long, the Grim Reaper decides it's time to set things right. He will find allies in what remains of the human race and he will discover an enemy who wants nothing more than to control the power that drives the zombies.

I love this idea. I never thought of it before, but the Grim Reaper would find zombies irritating. They would be messing with his job. It makes sense he would eventually get angry enough to do something about it.

Double Dead (Tomes of the Dead), by Chuck Wendig

Coburn’s been a vampire for close to a century but he’s cool with it. However, After five years of a forced slumber, Coburn wakes up to find humans have been overrun by zombies. He’s undead, but he’s not as undead as the zombies, and their dietary requirements are different. He eats blood, they eat flesh. This means Coburn’s food supply has dwindled and he can’t eat the zombies, they’re gross. So now Coburn not only has to find food from live humans, but he has to protect them too. He can’t have them disappear if he wants to keep eating.

I like this idea too. It takes the zombie genre and adds another classic monster. A vampire forced to protect his food supply from zombies just tickles my funny bone.

These books have taken zombies and put twists on the genre in ways that make them stand out even more. All zombie stories are fun, but if you’re looking for ones that step outside the box, these may be a good place to start.

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