Jonathan Maberry, author of popular YA novels Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay (both Simon & Schuster, 2010 & 2011 respectively), is out with a new adult zombie novel this week. Maberry debuted Dead of Night as a special guest at ZomBcom 2011 this weekend.
You may also know Maberry for his Joe Ledger novels, beginning with Patient Zero (St. Martins, 2009), which address zombies in a sort of bioterrorism techno-thriller.
In preparing this post, I went straight to http://jonathanmaberry.com/ where I got distracted by a virtual panel discussion titled “What Makes YA Fiction So Hot” featuring librarians from across the country. Highly recommended!
Adult/High School–At first, they are not zombies. They are neighbors and acquaintances living in the small town of Stebbins, PA. But through governmental mishap, the infected body of a serial killer is sent to the Stebbins funeral home, where it rises out of the body bag and attacks the mortician. “Attacks,” in this case, means chewing the man’s throat out, but not killing him. Thus begins the invasion of the “hollow men,” people with the full consciousness of their human selves but trapped in a body that craves the taste of human flesh. It falls to a pair of police officers–voluptuous, hardened Dez Fox and her infinitely patient partner J.T.–to protect the people of Stebbins from the incomprehensible danger. At the same time, handsome journalist Billy Trout, Dez’s on-again, now off-again lover, is tracking down the evil genius behind the zombie epidemic. All of the requisite thriller elements come together as the zombies overtake the small community. There is government conspiracy, scientific malfeasance, unrequited sexual attraction, and, most importantly, plenty of gore. Faces are eaten off, limbs are severed, and body fluids leak in vivid detail. Short chapters keep the action moving. Maberry is an accomplished horror writer who keeps an intelligent sensibility running beneath the sensational action of his novel, and he has published a YA zombie series that begins with Rot & Ruin (S & S, 2010). Dead of Night is a definite teen magnet.–Diane Colson, formerly of New Port Richey Library, FL