Saturday, December 25, 2010

Deck the Halls with Brains of Holly!

Ahhh, Christmas! Presents, food, family and... zombies?
'Hello little girl! Have you been good, or braaaaaains?'
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me UNDEAD REDEMPTION! I’ve had my eye on this game ever since I started playing Red Dead Redemption and realised that, like anything, it could be made better with zombies. 

And after a day spent riding around on my horse, taking out zombies armed with nothing more than a revolver and a lasso, I’m in the mood to list some of my favourite YA zombies of all time.

Zombies and video games? I’m sold already. But what I love most about this book is that it takes place after the zombie apocalypse has already come and gone, and everybody is safe from zombie attacks. Well, supposedly.

There was something deeply unsettling about the zombies in this book, or ‘unconsecrated’ as they’re called. Maybe it was the way they were always there, surrounding you from the day you were born. Or maybe it was how they could lay waste to your entire town in a few brief minutes. Either way, they were some creepy zombies.

It couldn’t be a list about zombies without this gem on it. To be fair, the unicorns put up a good fight, but they just can’t fight the might of the undead hoard. You’ve got all kinds of zombies here, but my favourites in particular were the rebel zombies in Scott Westerfeld’s ‘Innoculata’ and the celebrity baby zombies in Maureen Johnson’s ‘Children of the Revolution’. Disappointed there were no Zombucorns though.

While these aren’t your typical corpse-brought-back-to-life zombies, they are indeed the dead returned, and they are seriously creepy. From the way they cluster together as they stare at you through the portals of the afterlife to the rotting stench they give off, everything about them makes them the kind of zombie I definitely would not like to meet in a dark alley.

And so we come to the king of the zombies – those found in The Enemy and its sequel/prequel The Dead. What precisely makes these zombies so deserving of the top role? Well, to begin with, they’re not entirely dead, are they? There’s still some part of them in there that’s human, which makes them harder to kill, and even worse, it makes them smart. And sometimes the worst kinds of zombies still seem entirely human – anybody who’s read the part with Small Sam trapped in the underground train carriages will know exactly what I mean!

And that rounds out my list of YA zombies. Who are your favourites? The ripping, furious runners or the slow, shambling groaners? Well, at least I know that in the case of a zombie apocalypse, I’ve got more than one good book to read.

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