Daily Archives: June 22, 2012

Guest Post: Zombies & New Worlds & Violence, Oh My! by J.A. Belfield

Yes, I’m talking about all the titles that have been slowly flooding the book markets over the past few years.

To be honest, I’d seen all the hype for zombie fiction & dystopia/post-apocalyptic novels. To begin I viewed them with scorn.

Yes, I did.

And I apologise profusely.

Because I was ignorant.

I wondered how something like zombies could possibly make a decent novel when it’s often the horrific visuals of a zombie film that grab us the most.

I wondered how on earth anyone could be enamoured by a story with a cover that depicts the world as broken and dreary as heck, and nowhere anyone in their right mind would want to live—again, I guess, something that would have great impact in a film.

Then I listened—to other readers—instead of being so opinionated.

Before I knew it, I’d let them sway me into picking up these books I’d struggled to figure out (without having read them …. Yeah, I know, I know, don’t say it).

Now?

I pretty much can’t get enough of them.

Granted, I’m not so keen on the zombie novels—unless you count Amy Plum’s romanticised version of zombies in Die For Me.

But I picked up Hunger Games convinced I would hate it.

O_o

So happens, I went out and bought Catching Fire as soon as I could and even had someone send me Mockingjay so I didn’t have to wait to read on to the end.

Yeah, I pretty much began devouring books from this genre I’d not even given a chance.

Since then, I’ve read Divergent, too—as well as finished up with Insurgent mere hours before writing this post.

Then there are the ones that combine genres: vampire dystopias seem to be the latest craze. Andrew Fukuda’s The Hunt or Julie Kagawa’s Immortal Rules, for example. I’ve read both of those. Admittedly, they haven’t wowed me quite as much as straight dystopia has, but they were still decent reads, neither of them alike, and both had highly intriguing concepts.

So what is it about these genres that seem to be spreading like wildfire? The characters, their conflicts, the action which often horrifies due to the violence involving youths, the love story (because there almost always seems to be at least the potential for one) … or the fact that we just don’t know what the future holds for our earth and to get even a fictional glimpse of that is simply too fascinating to pass up?

How about you? Have you tried these types of novels? What do you think it is about them that’s setting the reading population on fire?

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Novels/Stories by J.A. Belfield