Top Ten Tuesday and a “Deadlands” Review

Two weeks ago The Broke and the Bookish hosted a Top Ten Tuesday asking for read-alikes to certain authors. This week they ask for read-alikes for a specific book.

I wasn’t intending to do it initially, because I felt like I might repeat myself. But then I decided to do books you might enjoy if you liked Mira Grant’s Feed; especially since I’ve been meaning to review Lily Herne’s Deadlands (read below).

The following ten books are not all about zombies (in fact, only one of them are); but they are like Feed in that they have a surreal factor (like zombies) but are still written such that they are congruous  with the world we know – be it in politics, religion and so on.

1. Deadlands by Lily Herne – read review below!

2. The Host by Stephenie Meyer – a peace-loving alien race invades Earth

3. Slide by Jill Hathaway – a narcoleptic teenager can slide into other minds

4. The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe – the killer-virus scenario

5. Unwind by Neal Shusterman – what happens when there aren’t enough organs for everyone?

6. Animorphs by Katherine Applegate – the ability to morph into other species

7. Fingers by William Sleator – a child prodigy is haunted by a dead composer

8. Orchid Volume 1 by Tom Morello – post-apocalyptic anarchy and slavery

9. Fearless by Francine Pascal – a girl born without the fear gene (is there a fear gene?)

10. Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult – a Jewish girls speaks to God and exhibits stigmata

*  *  *

Now for the long-promised review of Deadlands, a Zombie novel (part of a series) set in Cape Town, South Africa and written by a mother-daughter pair who go by the moniker of Lily Herne.

Lele has recently been sent to the enclave, a safe space from the zombies who roam Cape Town. It is ten years since The War broke out, ten years since the zombie plague broke out in the throes of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Ten years since South Africans were saved by the Guardians, mysterious keepers of the peace. 

Deadlands tells the story of a teenager unwilling to be complacent as those around her. She does not accept the Resurrectionist-beliefs or their insistence on an uncanny ceasefire with the un-dead. She does not accept the worshiping of the Guardians. And she certainly does not accept the annual Lottery, which picks teenagers to go… where?

The first two pro’s of this book are implicit so far: the plot is a unique twist on the original zomiecopalypse (c’mon, it’s set in freaking Cape Town) and the heroin is not a whiny frilly girly-girl who begs to be saved (although she is human. Thankfully). Don’t you like her already?

The novel moves quickly – so quickly that there are some questions about The War and The Plague that remain unanswered. But one would hope that would be the case in a series in anycase.

A rather annoying (but endearing) trait is the reference to modern-day South African terms, such as politicians referring to themselves as “comrades”. It very subtly nudges towards a novel of satire, although one would need to read it a second time to really expand such thoughts. Simultaneously it does not play so big a role that non-South Africans would be confused.

One of the things I loved about Deadlands was that the plot would be swimming along, the reader thinking that they know exactly what’s happening, and then BAM! Something completely unexpected happens. I like that kind of effort and mind-bogglery.

The second book in the series, Death of a Saint, is also available, but I have not read it yet. Books are expensive y’all!

I feel that I should state for the record that I am not a zombie fan. I have never watched a zombie movie in its entirety. I read Feed as part of a challenge, and enjoyed it because of its focus on news and media. And I tried Deadlands for its South African milieu. I was not disappointed.

If you like the whole zombie thing, check out Lily Herne’s tips for surviving a zombie-apocalypse here and The Oatmeal’s cartoon on everything going down the loo when it comes to zombies here. You’re welcome.

“Everything’s better with zombies – NOT.”


  1. Cassie says:

    I honestly haven’t read any zombie books…ever, even though I thoroughly enjoy zombie movies and zombie shoes so I need to get on this! Your list is an awesome start!

    1. You enjoy zombie shoes? Or did you mean shows? Sorry 😉
      If you enjoy the movies I’m sure you’ll enjoy the books – so give it a try and enjoy 🙂

      1. Cassie says:

        Oh no girl, I meant shoes. Definitely. shoes. You know…where the skin is scraping off and oozing…isn’t that totally cute?! : )

        I will have to give the books a try though, on a serious level. And I’m going to invent the next Zombie shoe line.

      2. I have NEVER heard of zombie shoes…
        *googles it*
        Lawd. You really do get zombie shoes. And they are kinda cute!

      3. Cassie says:

        So…I’m actually kind of into these! I googled it too. Love the heels and the rain boots. I definitely need some zombie rain boots. It adds a whole new meaning to jumping in puddles.

  2. I’ve had Feed on my TBR since it came out. I really need to read it. Especially since I’ve read and enjoyed several that you listed.

  3. tinalinatime says:

    I’ve heard great things about Unwind, but haven’t read it yet. 🙂

    1. It’s really a great book, although obviously a little disturbing.

  4. Great list! I remember reading Animorphs growing up xD

    Here’s my TTT for this week =)

  5. Colin says:

    I’ve yet to read any zombie books, but I must say, as a writer, I’m intrigued. I’ve seen a few zombie movies, and I think it would be hard to write such a book without it becoming some kind of parody, or verging on the silly or unbelievable. So, I appreciate your recommendations here! 🙂

    1. You have valid concerns, so I tend not to read too many zombie books myself. But Feed and Deadlands are far from silly or unbelievable. Also, you’re welcome 🙂

  6. I love zombie books, so this is definitely a list for me! I don’t watch the movies though, the images are much too scary for me :p

    1. For me too! I really struggle with scary movies; although I can read any scary book.

  7. TrishaDM says:

    I remember the Animorphs series. Awesome.

  8. I haven’t read any zombie books, but these look like great suggestions for those that do love to read them. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. I think my book recommendations tie in very neatly with yours this week! Very curious about Orchid Volume 1

    1. You’re right, they do! Orchid is nice, but it is always a big leap to try a new graphic novel.

  10. elena says:

    OOOH FEARLESS! Oh gosh, I remember being super into that series but it had too many books for me to keep up with!

    1. Yeah, my library only stocked the first few books, so I never got to finish the series. But whatevs, it was still awesome.

  11. thebookslayer says:

    Oh I will def. be checking some of these out. They look great. Thanks for stopping by my page.

  12. KateB says:

    I loved Animorphs and I always thought they they, and The Host always belonged on the same list together.

    I think that I can see how Fearless would tie in with them too.

  13. Sue Holmes says:

    Great original way to interpret diversity! I loved Unwind 🙂 My TTT

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