Zone One by Colson Whitehead


Originally published in: 2011

What it’s about: Perfectly mediocre Mark Spitz is part of a small civilian zombie hunting unit tasked with clearing the dead from Long Island. (No, not the Mark Spitz. Although the reference is intentional.)

What made me pick it up: I got impatient waiting for my hold on Whitehead’s National Book Award-winning latest novel, The Underground Railroad, so I grabbed one of his earlier books. I had actually forgotten this one was about zombies.

My favorite things: Whitehead somehow wrote literary fiction about zombies. He asks a lot of interesting questions about what it really means to live in the post-apocalypse having experienced what came before. The characters are plagued by PASD (post-apocalyptic stress disorder), and Whitehead uses his dark humor to consider the emotional and mental toll taken on the zombie hunting survivors. Despite the fact that this is a book about killing zombies, it feels like its about something much more human.

Who it’s great for: Zombie aficionados looking for something a little bit different. Horror fans. Literary readers who want to ease into genre reading.

Abby’s rating: three-and-a-half-shells

The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman

Image result for the country of ice cream star

What it’s about: Set in a post-apocalyptic North America where a widespread disease catches children before they ever reach adulthood, a young girl races to find a cure to save her loved ones.

What made me pick it up: The name piqued my attention because, hey, who doesn’t love ice cream? But the new spin on the post-apocalyptic is what actually pushed it to the top of my TBR pile.

My favorite things: Newman writes in an imagined future dialect that was a struggle to work through at first, but as I got used to it I really enjoyed trying to puzzle out the origins of the language. I love the way she imagines how a society of children would boil down and try to embody the values of older generations. And can we talk about the shameless overuse of Instagram filter on the cover image? What is that-Crema? Rise? Charmes? Whatever it is, it perfectly fits the tone of the book.

Who it’s great for: Fans of dystopian or post-apocalyptic fiction. Anyone up for a linguistic challenge.

Abby’s Rating: four-shells