Review: “Z: Zombie Stories” by Catherynne M. Valente

Title:“Z: Zombie Stories”

Author: Catherynne M. Valente (editor)

Genre: YA, dystopian, zombies

Publication Date: October 2011 (expected)

Synopsis:  When the zombie apocalypse comes, it”s not just those crusty old folks who will struggle against the undead, it”s young people. What happens when you come of age during the zombie apocalypse? Z: Zombie Stories has the answer to that question.Z: Zombie Stories gathers together some of the hottest zombie fiction of the last two decades, from authors including Kelly Link, Jonathan Maberry, and Catherynne M. Valente. These stories focus on those who will inherit a world overrun with the living dead: a young man who takes up the family business of dealing with the undead, a girl dealing with her abusive father… who has become a zombie, a poet who digs up the wrong grave, and a Viking maiden imprisoned with the living dead…

☆: 4/5 – a fun set of zombie stories!

Review: This was a fun bunch of stories, but I was kind of disappointed. Some of the pieces used for this anthologies have been around for awhile, and I was kind of hoping for totally brand new stories from everyone all around. Don’t get me wrong – I loved these entries (especially the beginning of “Rot & Ruin” by Jonathan Maberry.

What was definitely the strength of this anthology was the sheer amount of variation there were between the entries. Some were very emotionally touching, some were funny, some had a dystopia-like living situation going on, and some were all of the above all in one story. I really enjoyed Kelly Link’s contribution to this one, and loved the idea of her character keeping track of time with whatever picture is on the cover of her notebook (in this case, flaming motorcycles) – I thought that was incredibly clever, and it’s definitely one of my favorites within this anthology.

But I do admit, as I said before, I do wish this had been something entirely new, and not just stories collected within the last two decades of YA lit. While I understand that YA lit has now grown to approximately 25% of the literary market, and gathering these stories is a great way of showing how YA has expanded in the last twenty years, I just wanted a completely shiny new anthology whose pieces I hadn’t seen somewhere else had already been used.

But since the sheer amount of variation (and quite frankly, some of the best of the best) in the stories used really won me over, this is why it gets a four out of five.

If you’re looking to get into zombie lit, or you’re looking to get into YA lit through some delicious zombies, I highly suggest you try out this anthology. It’s a great way to get into the Halloween mood, but it’s also a great way to see how far we’ve come in terms of YA lit in such a short time. Just don’t read it at night alone, or you might have a few nightmares (like I did). Or do so anyway, and enjoy those nightmares. Either way, give this anthology a try – it’s definitely a fun read for all.


2 thoughts on “Review: “Z: Zombie Stories” by Catherynne M. Valente

  1. Pingback: 100+ Books in a Year 2011 – my progress « birth of a new witch.

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry | Lair of the Green Knight

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