In this month’s roundup of the best-reviewed BookLife titles, we feature a zombie western, a sci-fi time travel adventure, a posthumous memoir, and more.

Head Dead West: Omnibus, Vol. 1–5

Oliver Atlas

Synopsis: Blake Prose, an idealistic, philosophizing Texan, must make it through an America ravaged by the living dead.

PW’s Takeaway: Atlas’s work is a searing blend of unflinching detail and humor.

Comparable Title: Jonathan Maberry’s Rot & Ruin

Sample Line: “Now that we’re near the Wall they’re everywhere, no longer isolated stragglers limping across the grasslands,
but a steady string of foot-dragging ghouls on their own trek westward to the Preserve.”

A Day Out of Time

Kelsey Clifton

Synopsis: Clifton’s debut novel is set in a world in which temporal rifts allow individuals to cross from one time to another.

PW’s Takeaway: This fun romp makes great use of its unusual concept, while Clifton shines in her development of more personal moments.

Comparable Title: James Alan Gardner’s All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault

Sample Line: “The forty-eight-hour countdown to the Day Out of Time had begun approximately thirteen and a half hours earlier, at midnight.”

Water Viper: A Jesse Alexander Novel

RJ Blain

Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic United States, protagonist Jesse Alexander is the Water Viper assassin.

PW’s Takeaway: An exciting fantasy story with wit, darkness, and magic.

Comparable Title: Lauren Oliver’s Delirium Trilogy

One Maestro’s Journey

Heinrich Hammer

Synopsis: Musician Hammer tells of his life as an orchestra conductor.

PW’s Takeaway: A passionate posthumous memoir.

Comparable Title: Philip Glass’s Words Without Music: A Memoir

Anastasia’s Book of Days

Cindy Maynard

Synopsis: Maynard tells the story of her courageous ancestor.

PW’s Takeaway: Through soulful vignettes, Maynard captures the joy and sadness of a single life.

Comparable Title: Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network