Z: Zombie Stories

Edited by J.M. Lassen. Night Shade (www.nightshadebooks.com), $12.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-59780-312-0
When the zombie apocalypse comes, it's teens who will inherit the Earth. That's one thought readers can take away from this eclectic collection of 10 reprints and one new story featuring young adult protagonists dealing with all manner of zombies. Offerings range from the slice-of-life (such as Darrell Schweitzer's "The Dead Kid,” which is suggestive of a more horrific version of Stand By Me) to the stomach-churning (Marie Atkins' "Seven Brains, Ten Minutes,” which pushes its narrator past the point of no return). Nina Kiriki Hoffman's "The Third Dead Body” imagines a lifeline connecting those who have been murdered by the same hand, and Scott Edelman's "The Human Race” is a provocative look at what it means to be alive when those we love are dead. Leading things off is Jonathan Maberry's post-apocalyptic novella, "Family Business,” which was recently expanded into the full-length Rot & Ruin; original to this collection is Thomas Roche's "Deepwater Miracle,” which stages a zombie attack at sea. Often gruesome and frequently disturbing, this anthology isn't for the fainthearted, reading more as a collection of stories about teens than ones expressly written for them. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
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