Z, by Michael Thomas Ford
Josh is a teenager who loves a virtual reality game where he hunts zombies with a flamethrower. Thankfully, there are no more zombies following an outbreak when his parents were young. So when Josh is offered to play a secret game IRL (In Real Life), he jumps at the chance. But Josh soon discovers that these aren’t the mindless cyber zombies he’s been told about.
Josh is a seemingly average kid with an average family, and falls for peer pressure easily. When confronted with deadly situations, he jumps in without much thought, and continues to play. The thrill of zombie hunting seems to be a drug for Josh and his peers. And, unfortunately, Josh also succumbs to peer pressure when it comes to actual drug use as well – as a warning for younger readers. Josh rarely makes wise choices.
If older teens are looking for high-octane, zombie-hunting mayhem, look no further. From beginning to end, the thrills and chills never stop. Often violent and gory, this is still fairly tame compared to other zombie fiction. If it weren’t for the flippant use of drugs, I would easily recommend this more to young teens. Yet zombie enthusiasts won’t want to miss this one. I was pleasantly surprised with the pacing and found it nearly impossible to put down. Despite the downfalls of the main character, Z is highly enjoyable.
Z will release from HarperTeen on September 7, 2010.