Let me first go on record by saying I have been a fan of the zombie genre since my first viewing of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, on VHS, re-watched until the tape wore thin enough that the player could no longer fix the tracking. (If I lost you there at “tracking”, ask your parents folks)
For me, the zombie apocalypse represents the breakdown of the infrastructure that serves as the backbone of society, turns everything we take for granted on its head, and pushes you outside your comfort zone. The writer does not take you on a fantastic voyage to some unknown world, where fierce and frightening monsters abound, returning you to normalcy as easily as closing the book (or the app I guess). Instead, the writer denies the reader that power of separation of fact from fiction, and instilling that inkling of fear, however small, that zombies might just be possible. That’s the beauty of the zombie genre; it strips away the fantastical nature of scary stories and brings the terror to the reader’s doorstep.
It is generally accepted that, while fun to imagine, vampires and werewolves and aliens just do not exist. They are just folklore and spook stories; tales to keep little ones in their beds at night for fear of monsters hiding under their beds. Nothing more.
What if, however, those old legends were not just tall tales? What if someone in the past meant for the stories to serve as preparation for future generations to be ready for the apocalypse? In his Deathless series, Chris Fox opens the reader’s mind to the possibility that not only could vampires and werewolves have existed, but what if they served a purpose? What if they were created to save humanity?
The Deathless series, currently comprised of 3 books plus 3 companion novellas, caught my interest in its gnarled claws and refused to let go. It took my obsession with the zombie genre and exploded it in a whole new direction. Never before had I read the possibility of pitting zombies against werewolves, vampires, super-powered humans, AND aliens! Just when I thought the story was over, Chris left me on the edge of my seat begging for the next chapter in the story. I recommend this series to any reader who enjoys fast paced storytelling, visceral more-than-human fights, oftentimes humorous dialogue, and not to mention questioning everything you had ever learned about ancient mythology.
Current books/novellas (in order of the author’s suggested reading):
There’s No Such Thing as Werewolves
The First Ark – novella
No Ordinary Zombie
Vampires Don’t Sparkle
The Great Pack (forthcoming)
Hero Born – novella
Hero Rising – novella
As for me, I just picked up Destroyer, the first book in Chris’s new The Void Wrath trilogy, and am looking forward to reading it.