Review Blog

May 12 2011

Z by Michael Thomas Ford

cover image

Random House, 2010. ISBN: 9781864718225.
(Ages: 12 +) Set in 2032, Z is a novel about a teenager, Josh, who moves from his favourite virtual video game of hunting and torching zombies to a real life nightmare where the zombies seem too real.  The video game is based on a 'historical' event that occurred in the 2020s when a virus spread across New York and the rest of the world causing people to become zombies. The only solution to solving this problem was to employ armies of zombie torchers who patrolled the city in order to catch and torch zombies. The moral and ethical problem with this is that these zombies where formally real people and often the relatives and friends of torchers. As a result, years later, a new generation of teenagers have taken to the heroics of the virtual zombie game much to the displeasure of their parents who lived through the real dangers and memories of the zombie wars. Despite, Josh is eventually persuaded to join an underground zombie hunting group, which turns out to be front to pedal the mysterious drug called Z. Along the way he experiences romance and this more common issues concerning teenagers such as a fight with his best friend. Z moves beyond what could an entertaining novel about hunting zombies to touch on some deeper issues about growing-up, developing new friendship groups, peer pressure and using drugs. For this reason, slightly older readers are more likely appreciate these themes.
Adam Fitzgerald

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