Raising Stony Mayhall, by Daryl Gregory
I don’t usually read books about zombies, but this is not your typical zombie story. Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse? Me, neither. In fact, I think the existence of zombies is impossible. Oddly, so does Stony Mayhall, Daryl Gregory’s living dead protagonist. In 1968, Wanda Mayhall is driving her three girls home through an Iowa snowstorm when she sees a body by the side of the road. Wanda finds the frozen body of a young woman, with a cold baby in her arms. Then the baby opens his eyes, and Wanda takes him home, where she and the girls keep Stony’s existence secret from everybody but their Korean neighbors. After young Kwang comes to visit, Stony grows in size to match him, and they grow up together. While frustrated because he’s stuck at home, Stony loves his family. After a tragedy, Stony is separated from his family and taken to a safe house with other living dead (LDs), and even to a secret LD convention, which ends badly. LDs have different political views, and are really dangerous for only a few days after they are bitten and become LD. They can eat and drink, but don’t need to, and smoke a lot. Some even fall in love.
Stony studies the origins and science of LDs and meets a wealthy entrepreneur on a desert island who wants to send LDs into space. Stony longs for contact with his human family, and tries to prevent a faction of LDs from starting the Big Bite, or zombie apocalypse. A funny, sweet, and frightening story of self-discovery, family love, and zombies.