October Fright: The Undead Rise!

AKernelOctober

Last year for October Fright I spotlighted some of my favorite witchy reads. This year I wanted to go a little more in depth when it came to picking a monster to feature. I know by now many people are probably tired of the zombie genre and there are times that even I feel that the undead’s fifteen minutes of fame is over, but there are a lot of fun (can I use the word fun?) and exciting zombie books, movies, and shows worth checking out. Here is a look at my zombie recommendations for the novice or seasoned zombie watcher. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

Favorite Zombie Reads:

1. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

“The Zombie Survival Guide is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now. Fully illustrated and exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain.”

2. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

“In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.”

3. This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

“It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?”

4. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

“”It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—& the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty & arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—& even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism & thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.”

5. The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

“Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.”

Favorite Zombie T.V. Shows:


1. The Walking Dead (AMC) – Of course I’m going to mention The Walking Dead. I’ve been a fan of this show from the beginning. I feel like I’ve been through so much with these characters. I also want to say that I do think the earlier seasons were better. My favorite characters are Michonne, Carol, and Carl. If I was starting my own zombie apocalypse team, these three would be on it. If you’re interested, I believe all aired seasons are currently on Netflix. I’m not a huge fan of the spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, which is why I’m not listing it. Everyone seems to be getting on my nerves in that one, so now I’m just watching it as background noise while I blog.

2. iZombie (CW) – If you’re looking for a different take on zombies, I’d recommend watching iZombie. Liv is just like any other living human…except that she craves brains and a single scratch from her can turn you into a zombie. Using the visions from the brains she eats (she also takes on the personality of whomever she eats, which can really fun), Liv helps solve murders. Not convinced yet? This show is also from the creator of Veronica Mars. Watch it! This show is also on Netflix.

Zombie Movies Worth Watching:

1. Night of the Living Dead (1986) – When making a list like this, you simply have to mention the original George A. Romero film Night of the Living Dead. If classics are your thing or you’re not much for blood and gore, I recommend reaching for this one.

2. 28 Days Later – Probably the scariest of the zombie movies I’m listing, 28 Days Later is sure to make you feel like your whole world was turned upside down. Technically the movie never uses the word ‘zombie’ when describing just what kind of infection is happening, but I think it’s pretty safe to consider this one a zombie movie.

3. Zombieland – Because there is nothing wrong with having a little fun when it comes to zombies, I’d recommend watching Zombieland, which combines the terror of trying to survive the zombie apocalypse with a bit of humor. Also, if you don’t want a twinkie after watch this movie, there is something wrong with you.

4. World War Z – As far as movie adaptations go, this is probably among the worst. I’m not even sure the writers of this one even read the book. But as far as entertaining movies go, this one isn’t half bad. So if you’re looking to shut off your brain awhile (no pun intended) and just enjoy a few zombie thrills, look no further than World War Z.

Are you a fan of the zombie genre? Do you have any favorite zombie books, shows, or movies? Are you a fan of anything on my list? Let’s talk in the comments!

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

Title: The Girl with All the Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Series: N/A

Melanie, like any other ten-year-old little girl, attends class Monday through Friday. She has a favorite teacher and loves to learn. But unlike other children, Melanie and her classmates are never allowed out of their seats. Each morning they are fastened tight and wheeled into the classroom. The soldiers in charge of guarding them look at them with fear and contempt, and the doctors see them as subjects instead of children. But in a world gone mad, Melanie may be the key to stopping an infection that threats to topple all of humanity.

“Something opens inside her, like a mouth opening wider and wider and wider and screaming all the time — not from fear, but from need. Melanie thinks she has a word for it now, although it still isn’t anything she’s felt before. It’s hunger.”

M.R. Carey’s The Girl with All the Gifts is as suspenseful as it is unique, a zombie novel that will have you questioning your own convictions. As if there aren’t enough moral dilemmas when it comes to a zombie apocalypse, in this book, the infection that killed most of the earth’s population has had an unexpected effect on a group of children. Though they still hunger for human flesh, they have retained their cognitive functions. They can communicate, learn and have thoughts like any normal child. To some, like Dr Caldwell, they are an anomaly, meant to be studied, a stepping stone to finding a cure. For others, it’s difficult to justify experimentation when the subjects look so much like children.

Melanie’s life is tedious, her cell is her home and the only contact she has with others usually involves a gun. But the one bright spot in her life is Miss Justineau, one of the teachers who doesn’t see the children as monsters. She reads them stories and plays music for their enjoyment. Though education has been provided to all the children, Melanie’s relationship with Miss Justineau meets an emotional need that is at odds with the belief that these children are essentially dead. Melanie’s ignorance of her own nature is heartbreaking, especially when she begins to realize what she is and the danger she poses to the one person she cares about. This discovery runs parallel to several characters’ gradual understanding that Melanie isn’t simply a ‘hungry’ but a child with her own thoughts and feelings.

The Girl with All the Gifts is a little slow to start, but the action quickly picks up and like the characters, you begin to see just how wonderful little Melanie is and just how terrifying a world full of children like her can be.

Rating: 4/5

★★★★

Exploring My Bookshelves, #2: Scariest Book

shelvesExploring My Bookshelves is an original meme hosted by Addlepates and Book Nerds.

How it works:

1. Post a picture of your bookshelves.

2. Choose a book for the week’s topic.

3. Share the blurb for the book.

4. Share your link on Addlepates and Book Nerds.

 

This week we’re posting our scariest book. I’m not sure I own many scary books, but zombies always provide a fright:

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The Benny Imura series by Jonathan Maberry is my favorite zombie series and I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t already.

From Goodreads:

“In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.”

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books for the Zombie Novice

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the topic is “Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read X (examples: New Adult novels, historical fiction, a certain author, books about a certain topic, etc).” I went back and forth with this topic, selecting zombie novels and then children’s books and even considered serial killer novels. I finally settled on zombies since I love zombies and I’m sure there are plenty of people who haven’t fallen in love with them quite like I have.

Ten Books for the Zombie Novice:

1. Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. My favorite zombie series, which made me see zombies in a whole new light.

2. Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry. His adult zombie series.

3. World War Z by Max Brooks. No, it is nothing like the movie, which is why you should check it out.

4. This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers. I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed this one.

5. The Enemy by Charlie Higson. Wonderful series and Higson has a way of pulling the rug out from under me when I ought to know better by now.

6. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. Jane Austen + zombies = awesomeness.

7. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Seth Grahame-Smith. The prequel to the above book which I thoroughly enjoyed.

8. Undead by Kirsty McKay. Zombies rise in what looks less and less like an accident.

9. Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne. One man trying to survive the zombie apocalypse told in journal form.

10. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. An important book for anyone who knows the zombie apocalypse to be imminent. But seriously, this book is packed with lots of real-world advice for any kind of end-of-the-world scenario.

What topic have you selected for this week?