Top 5: Zombie Novels On My Shelf

1. World War Z: Not only did this book show the best style of writing I have seen in a long time but it also had a story that was everything you could ever want in a Zombie novel. I find the most important part of any zombie story is the outbreak itself and how life has changed from before it happened. When a story jumps in after the outbreak occurs it doesn't have the same effect as when they show you people trying to survive as the world goes to hell around them. World War Z demonstrated, without a reasonable doubt, that life for different people is changed dramatically when the world goes to hell. In the novel you will read from a different persons perspective in each chapter telling their story from their country. The book is organized so that the stories are told in order from the beginning of the outbreak to those who tell of how they survived during, all the way to the present day in novel time when they are living in their new world. There is no competition of my shelf that can come close to pushing World War Z off of the top spot.

2. This Book is Full of Spiders: This book isn't exactly a zombie novel, and it is the second book in the "John Dies at the End" series, but I find it needs to be in this list anyway. The book itself challenges what you consider "zombies" to be by giving you a zombie like infected person who is instead being controlled by a parasitic spider who causes people to eat people, mutilate their own bodies, and kill relentlessly. I am classifying this as a zombie novel because of the fact that there is an infection going around and many characters in the book acknowledge it as a zombie outbreak. The reason it takes second spot on my list is because the author, David Wong, has an incredibly unique form of writing that makes you continuously ask, "what the hell is going on?" With twists and childish humour the book keeps you laughing and guessing at what you think is going to happen next. I came for the zombies but stayed for the authors unique form of writing. 
P.S You don't have to read the first book to enjoy this one as well. It says so right in the beginning.

3. The First Days: Unlike most zombie books this book holds nothing back. The utter destruction overtaking the human world is shown through every bloody page where no one is spared from the horrors that unfold. This all starts when the main characters are introduced and immediately they kill off the two year old and his other brothers violently. No matter who they try to save everyone seems to die in the most realistic take on a zombie outbreak I have read. There is no saving the children or your loved ones from the onslaught that is to come. The author does a perfect job at playing on the emotional strings of your heart as a young mother and a wild woman go on a journey across America in search for a safe place where they aren't constantly being tracked by the hungry undead. Just for the fact that this book is so realistic is what earns it a spot on my list.

4. Dark Inside: While this book goes against the term "zombie" as a few great zombie novels do it still portrays a violent infection that makes people go insane and kill others. In the form of a virus that makes people become so incredibly violent that they would kill their own children this zombie plague pits four teenagers together as they each run for their lives leaving their family behind. As they travel across America looking for a place not ruled by the new raging virus they will have to confront what makes them 'good' and how they plan on beating the bug. Each character is different in their own way not quite making it into the 'good' category in most cases. Some are even on the bridge of becoming infected themselves. Because of the way the author manages to put the feeling of anxiety and adrenaline in these four stories I would say this book earns itself a spot on my list.

5. The Walking Dead: While these books are not novels since they are technically comic books I am still classifying them on my list. Just because the story is told out through pictures I have no objection to a good zombie story here and there. The only reason I don't put it further up my list is because I don't get to see the outbreak as it occurs. The main character just wakes up after most of the damage has been done. Either way, the characters and the story line evolve to a point where the zombies are still present but take backstage to the human drama that is effecting the new world. This take on things is something that I am glad I was able to read.

So there you have it folks, the top 5 zombie novels on my shelf today. Keep in mind when reading this that I haven't read all the zombie books that are out there and there is a very unlikely chance that I ever will. These are just the books that I loved reading out of the few that I have read. When choosing to read a book I have suggested just keep that in mind.
Have a great day and happy reading!
- K

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