So following my sudden internet fame when my post on the first page was me mourning the time lost to trying to read a zombie romance novel (in my defense, I thought it would be more comedic than anything), David Moore, an editor for Abaddon Books, contacted me and asked if I was interested in reviewing a comp copy of Hungry Hearts, another zombie romance novel. With it, he was generous enough to send me three other books to read, all about my great obsession, zombies.
I read Hungry Hearts by Gary McMahon first (points for intriguing cover art), and I can't decide what surprised me more, the disturbing lack of cliche romance or the disturbing amount of violence and gore. Either way, it was pretty disturbing, if ever disturbing could be taken as a compliment. There were a few parts that were almost too much for me, and that says a lot, coming from such a connoisseur of the undead, but overall I'd say this book gives you everything you'd expect from a zombie romance novel and then some. A few truly grotesquely descriptive scenes I just had to pass around the dinner table with friends, needless to say, many appetites were lost. I must caution, however, that this book has some very mature content, and I strongly recommend you not put it on your reading list if anything about said topics makes you squeamish. When I say anything, I mean anything, it's really what you would expect in a steamy... er... clammy zombie romance.
I also read I, Zombie by Al Ewing to bring the zombie novel marathon full circle, and I was delightfully surprised. Like most people, I have the unfortunate mannerism of judging a book by it's cover, and I admit I picked out this book of the four first based solely on its very bizarre art. I wondered how all these things on the cover could possibly come together in one story rationally, but Ewing actually pulled it off in a very unique and captivating tale. I can't really tell you anything to prove how awesome a story this turned out to be without spoiling the whole thing, but I will say that zombie samurais, werewolves, and insectoid alien chestbursters are all involved, how can it not be amazing? The ending is a tad of a cliffhanger, and I will reveal there is a teeny bit of world-ending apocalypse involved, but it works out, don't worry, besides, what kind of zombie novel is complete without some risk of human extinction. The best part of this book is all the twists, it gives you a seemingly simple concept, a sentient zombie that works as a mercenary/detective, but that concept is but the candle on top of a giant cake that secretly holds a really hot stripper, and she jumps out with the keys to a Ferrari then you all go out for ice cream and puppies. Then your head explodes. M. Night Shyamalan's got nothing on this book, it's just a series of incredibly weird and outrageous events that continue to break every stereotype you had about the science fiction genre until you can never look at zombies the same way again. If you liked War of the Worlds, this is a must read for you, it draws a lot of similarities, while still remaining very original and interesting. Overall, I can't really describe this book without "WTF?!"