My Top Five Favorite Zombie Fiction CharactersI’m a die-hard zombie fan. That should come as no surprise for most of you since it’s been the main theme of my reviews and writing for quite some time now. I’ve read hundreds of books starring the undead meat-sacks, and have amassed quite the list of favorite characters I would ride out the zombie apocalypse with.
Here’s my top five all-time favorites. How do they stack up to your list?
Okay, so admittedly I’m biased here. Not only did I write the books, but Daphne is written true to life. She really is as big a diva in life as she is on the pages of my series. However, the fact that she is the cutest dog I’ve ever seen (oh yeah, I just went there), has saved her tiny life on more than one occasion. She has a pooping problem…is there a twelve step program for that? But, tooting issues aside, she can make even the bleakest of situations bearable. She has become—hands down—a fan favorite, and I’m constantly receiving threats from readers that there will be riots should she meet an untimely demise.
I tried early on to kill her off, but I sat at my laptop crying like a baby whenever I tried to write her death. So, looks like she’s in it for the long haul. Fans can rest easy…no doggie-cide here.
It is very rare that I don’t choose the humorous characters. Kathleen is one of those exceptions to the rule. Devan Sagliani’s Undead L.A. is a collection of six stories of the same apocalypse. They’re all great, but To Live and Die in L.A. is without a doubt the most impactful. Kathleen is a schoolteacher dying from cancer. She’s granted a dying wish to attend an awards ceremony on the arm of an actor. The zombies attack in the middle of the event, but pass her over. This story is an absolute gem. The character is so genuine and her situation is so dire that, even a year after reading it, that raw emotion Sagliani was able to evoke from me earns her a place among my favorite characters.
The Zombie Botnet series is a unique take on the zombie genre. Designed to turn viewers catatonic and follow a subliminal command allowing hacker, Ven, to access their personal data brings about an unexpected side effect. ‘#Zombie‘ is trending, and those unlucky enough to be accessing the internet and other visual media become mindless, ravenous zombies. Boscoe, a cheese-sandwich loving Labrador provides levity and a major amount of comic relief. Anyone with a dog can imagine a dog licking its chops while sitting in front of you and eyeing your food.
Let’s just say Al is the Boscoe of book two. If you’ve read Mark Tufo’s Zombie Fallout series (see below), you’ll find Al a weird meld of Tommy and The Stand’s Tom Cullen character. M-O-O-N spells hilarity!! Perhaps a bit autistic, Al makes readers laugh as he keeps tally under his breath of how much each character owes the swear jar.
BT is a strong contender for the number one spot on my list. And the only reason he isn’t topping the charts is because his funniest moments are usually at the expense of Mike Talbot. Tufo has a way of penning remarkably witty banter between BT and Mike Talbot (the MC of the series). Poor BT is usually the victim of suffocating dog farts from the Talbot’s dog Henry. And Mike, well, he’s just got crap luck.
The humor is snark-tastic, and the dripping sarcasm in nearly every exchange is the cherry on top of this yummy sundae. Narrator Sean Runnette was the perfect choice for the series. He encapsulates the self-deprecating humor perfectly. So perfectly, in fact, that whenever I listened to the audiobooks, Daphne would sit down next to the phone and stare at it. I swear she was actively listening. Maybe she has some puppy-love for Henry. After all, they’re two poopers in a pod.
Ah, Adrian. A no-brainer to round out my list of favorite fictional zombie book characters. Adrian is the main character of Chris Philbrook’s eight book series appropriately named after the man himself. The ex-military turned dorm supervisor for the Auburn Lake Preparatory Academy hunkers down and barricades himself behind the walls of the school as things go from bad to worse in his community.
Sounds pretty average, right? WRONG! This character is hilarious. I mean laugh until you cry funny. Adrian writes in a journal, appropriately named Mr. Journal, and more often than not, takes his frustration out on it, telling it to F-off on more than one occasion.
“Ooooooh….. I haven’t told the story of my toe-pusher reference have I Mr. Journal? Well then, let’s get that out of the way so you understand what I mean when I say today was a toe-pusher.”
To spare you the gory (but sidesplittingly funny) details, I’ll give you the gist of the explanation. Basically, while on deployment in Kuwait, Adrian and his unit were bored with MREs and ordered a pizza to be snuck to them. Unfortunately, the pizza made them sick and in an act of desperation Adrian found himself using the officer’s bathroom…but he only made it as far as the shower. I’ll let you guess what he had to push down the drain. But after the third book, everything bad that happened to Adrian became a toe-pushing moment, and it did me in every time.
“When I told Kevin about what I did the phrase toe-pusher caught on. Anytime anything sucked, it was a toe-pusher. When one of us got hit on by an ugly chick, she was a toe-pusher. When a firefight got real hot, it became a toe-pusher. “
So, I think this puts things into context a bit. Four out of my top five favorites have made it there by poop. And three of them include dogs. Kind of puts things into perspective, eh? What can I say…man’s best friend provides endless humor for this reader.
About the Author
Shana Festa grew up in the small town of Northborough Massachusetts. As an impressionable tot, she shared in her father's love for Horror, and spent most of her childhood hiding under the blankets worrying what nightmarish creature lurked in her closet. She grew up on a healthy diet of classics like Nightmare on Elm Street, Return of the Living Dead, American Werewolf in London, Child’s Play and Poltergeist.
Her writing career was born from her long-time addiction to terrifying tales. Under her alter ego, The Bookie Monster, Shana reviews horror and paranormal books, with an emphasis on zombie fiction. Her altruistic beliefs fuse seamlessly with The Bookie Monster's mission to provide readers with honest reviews and to provide authors with a platform to promote their labors of love.
Shana holds a degree in nursing and now resides in Cape Coral, Florida with her husband and two adorable dogs. In addition to her apocalyptic series, TIME OF DEATH, she is a founding member of AT HELL'S GATES, a horror anthology series dedicated to supporting the brave men and women of our Armed Forces through the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.