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Z by Michael Thomas Ford

Published by HarperTeen

Pages: 288

Ages: Young Adult

Publishers Summary: The First Rule of Torching: Cleanse with fire.

Josh is by far the best zombie Torcher around—at least, he is in his virtual-reality zombie-hunting game. Josh has quickly risen through the player ranks, relying on the skill, cunning, and agility of a real Torcher.

The Second Rule of Torching: Save all humans.

But luckily for Josh, zombies exist only in the virtual world. The real zombie war is now more than fifteen years in the past, and the battle to defeat the deadly epidemic that devastated his family—and millions of others—is the stuff of history lessons.

The Third Rule of Torching: You can’t bring them back.

Charlie is the top-ranked player in the game. Since all the players are shrouded in anonymity, Josh never expects Charlie to be a girl—and he never expects the offer she makes him: to join the underground gaming league that takes the virtual-reality game off the screen and into the streets. Josh is thrilled. But the more involved he gets, the more he realizes that not everything is what it seems. Real blood is spilling, members of the team are disappearing, and the zombies in the game are acting strange. And then there’s the matter of a mysterious drug called Z. . . .

“Years after a rampant illness that turned many of the human population into zombies, people are living. It’s 2032 and life is advanced, from everything including the technology used to modes of transportation, there are even vaccines to fight the once deadly zombie virus. With technology though comes disadvantages, ignorance and struggle. For Josh, a teen, the zombie wars are something he only knows about from his parent’s stories and of course his favorite virtual reality game in which he torches every zombie in sight. None of those examples are real to him though and when Josh gets involved in a live action version of his game things go terribly terribly wrong.

“I’m not a zombie person. I’ll say this again. I’m not a zombie person. I never have been and I’ve never quite understood the fascination people have with zombies. From my first viewing of The Night of the Living Dead until now, I just didn’t get it. Where is the entertainment value in watching people meander around constantly searching for others to eat and not quite knowing what they’re doing outside of that. Well, Michael Thomas Ford has completely changed my opinion, completely.

Z was more than I ever expected. I’m not one for reading cover excerpts and so going into Z I had no idea what to expect outside of zombies. Which is to say, I didn’t expect much. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. Josh is a typical teenager, he loves to play video games, hang out with his best friend Firecracker and does decently well in school. Only when Josh’s gaming addiction becomes a reality do things start to get troubled for him. Through his interactions with Charlie, his new girl-friend, and the live-action zombie games he becomes engrossed in drugs and the possibility of something he didn’t expect. In what seems to be a mere matter of days Josh goes from a harmless carefree teenager to someone whose choices force him into a reality he didn’t dream was possible.

“One of the other brilliant aspects that stood out to me while reading the book is how effortlessly everything weaves together and seems utterly possible. As an example, the technology. It’s set in the future so Josh has technology that seamlessly blends into the background, without being too flashy but definitely plausible, like holographic games and interactive gloves. One of the things that drives me nuts about books set in the near future are the unrealistic expectations, especially those relating to technology. Ford’s additions to the scenery seem absolutely attainable, so much so that I never even questioned a single one.

“In all honesty I could go on and on about this novel. There are so many underlying themes that I didn’t even touch on like prejudice, drug addiction, addiction in general, trust, and so much more. Not only that, the book was incredibly entertaining. From page one to the end it was non-stop, and I actually completed it in just under three hours because I just couldn’t put it down. Definitely a zombie book to devour and enjoy!”

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 13 and up. A few mildly graphic scenes (the ones you’d expect from zombies), but otherwise a fabulous zombie book with bite that you’ll devour in mere hours!

For the comments: Are you a zombie fan? Now that I’ve started I need more. Do you have any zombie YA book recommendations?

Excerpt from Z by Michael Thomas Ford

This book was provided for review by HarperTeen. Thank you! Make sure to stop by their website, facebook page and follow them on Twitter for up-to date info on the newest releases!
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19 Responses to Book Review: Z by Michael Thomas Ford

  1. I’m not a zombie fan. Honestly, I usually steer clear of them. However, the excerpt you included has me seriously considering this one.

  2. Excellent review (as always!!)… I am not a big zombie fan, but this sounds like quality literature!! Might have to give this one a look!!

  3. Christie says:

    Loved your review! I am a zombie fan but haven’t read much YA with zombies. I’m hoping to check out Daniel Waters’s Generation Dead series, and Rot & Ruin which releases next month (I think).

  4. carol says:

    I’m not a zombie fan, but I will say the premise behind this one sounds interesting.

  5. Pam says:

    Oh I can haz zombie recs!

    Forest of Hands and Teeth
    Rot and Ruin

    I am getting to Z at some point this month. I specifically asked for it!

    • Both of those are definitely on my list, before I read any other zombie books, and honestly I can’t wait! They both sound fantastic!

      Now I’m hoping you are going to love this one! *fingers crossed* But honestly, I don’t think I have anything to worry about, I loved it! Enjoy!

  6. Gina says:

    Wow…this must be some book to change your opinion that completely! Honestly haven’t read any zombie books myself so the verdict is still out on my official opinion….I do believe I might have one coming up though for next month’s posts. Can’t wait! Thanks for sharing!

  7. julie says:

    The Enemy – it’s awesome

    The Forest of Hand and Teeth. It’s awesome, too!

    I just started reading zombie books, too!

  8. […] that’s just my opinion. check out some of the others i found online: torch those z’s book review: z by michael thomas ford review: z by michael thomas […]

  9. Tony says:

    I just finished this book and I completely love it!
    I Really hope there a sequel to this amazing book

  10. Ms. Yingling says:

    I’m not a zombie book person, either, but I read a lot of them. Check out Higson’s The Enemy and the forthcoming The Dead. Bonus: they are set in London!

  11. Dianna says:

    I LOVE this book so far, im on page 162

  12. Denis says:

    I’m not a big Zombie fan myself. But, this book. Was just, amazing. The ending especially, when I was done, I was astonished. I’m only 12 years old, but I understood every single that was going on. This book is that good. Loved it.

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