by Matthew Smith, Al Ewing, Rebecca Levene

Abaddon, $12.99, 672 pages

Zombie fans, this one’s for you! The Best of Tomes of the Dead is a collection of three terrifying zombie tales. Each author’s characters depart from the traditional shuffling, brain-eating zombies. In Matthew Smith’s The Worlds of Their Roaring, mankind is the instigator of its own demise. The story takes place over several decades and explores how a virus that raises the dead might evolve over time.

In Al Ewing’s story I, Zombie, John Doe has been dead for ten years and he’ll do just about anything for hire. He can’t remember anything about his former life, except that he carries a samurai sword, he can literally slow down time, and he enjoys eating human brains. The not-so-typical zombie story takes a turn when we learn that werewolves are the living dead’s natural (or UN-natural) predator.

Rebecca Levene, in Anno Mortis, features Boda, a female Gladiator and her horrifying discovery of a plot to open up a gateway between the living and dead. She befriends fellow slaves and free citizens and together they must try to save the Roman empire. All three stories are a great read for zombie enthusiasts and newcomers to the genre.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin