We at ZERO have taken the holiday week to celebrate with our loved ones and prepare for the coming zombie apocalypse Now that we’ve had our fill of sugar cookies, egg nog, and survivalist training, we’re back to our previously scheduled program. Well, a couple days late.
Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory is a story of an undead child found by the Mayhall family in the cornfields of Iowa. After a walking dead outbreak is contained in Pennsylvania, Wanda Mayhall happens upon the dead body of a young woman clutching her baby. She takes the baby into her car, intending to call the police to retrieve the body of the mother, only to find without a heartbeat or a breath, the baby moves. Defying conventional theory and knowledge of the undead, Stony Mayhall grows into a young man.
Raising Stony Mayhall isn’t a conventional zombie novel. The gore is minimal and the pace is more like a traditional coming-of-age novel. The undead are gripped by a fever upon infection which results in a day of biting and mauling. After the fever subsides, they return to normal. Well, normal with the addition of chronic decomposition.
Raising Stony Mayhall follows Stony as he straddles the world between the living and the dead. He is thrown into the politics of the undead, grappling between proponents of The Big Bite, undead who wish to turn the general population, The Lump, the remnants of a man who impossibly continues to live, and Captain Calhoun, an undead, reclusive multi-millionaire.
Ultimately, Raising Stony Mayhall is more literary fiction than conventional zombie novel. It’s a heartfelt story that will have you holding back tears rather than suppressing your gag reflex. We at ZERO highly recommend Raising Stony Mayhall for its realistic and sympathetic portrayal of zombie children.