My brother, Kevin Burke, is the author of The Last Mailman: Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Zombies, which was recently picked up by Permuted Press and should be available sometime in the near future.

In order to research Permuted, we picked up some of their books and checked them out. It was hardly a chore, as they specialize in zombie and apocalypse tales. All bias aside, they turn out some pretty damn good books. Here are my favorite 3 so far:

3. The Dead by Mark E. Rogers: This one appealed to me automatically when I read that it took place on the Jersey Shore. Having grown up in Jersey, just about every summer of my life has involved a trip “down the shore.” That being said, for some reason Rogers disguised all of the town names, which was puzzling to me. That took away some of my initial excitement. Luckily, The Dead sucked me right back in by being a pretty intense zombie adventure. The zombies in The Dead are more like agents of the apocalypse than traditional zombies. They’re smart and organized, and have a penchant for shoving dirt down people’s throats. Some have criticized the strong religious themes, but as a non-practicing Catholic, I found the debate interesting enough to forgive its heavy-handedness. I thought the ending was a little weak, but overall a great read.

2. Kings of the Dead by Tony Faville: Kings featured something that I’ve found missing in quite a few zombie novels: FUN! It’s told in journal style by a character who’s probably a little too excited and prepared when the zombie apocalypse begins. It’s a wacky ride that features mysterious super powers, giant zombie holding pens, and a goat. Great story and great characters make Kings a consistent page-turner.

1. Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines: Ex-Heroes zombies and super heroes, two of my favorite things of all time. And it’s a perfect, beautiful marriage. I loved, loved, loved this book. The story is well-written and I really liked how Clines played with the timeline in order to give you some back story on almost all of the characters. The heroes are all well-written and I can only dream that someday I might possess a St. George action figure. Clines has said that he basically took characters that he created when he was a kid and stuck them in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. How great is that! I’m sure that anybody who was into super heroes or comics as a kid can relate. We’ve all got heroes locked away in old notebooks and sketchpads. It makes me wonder how Incredibly Strong Man or Possum Man (both ridiculous heroes created by a 13-year-old Zombie Shakespeare) would deal with a zombie plague.

Of course I acknowledge that I’ve only read a small selection of the books that Permuted has to offer. Here are 3 that I’m most looking forward to picking up sometime in the future:

1. Empire by David Dunwoody, 2. The Infection by Craig DiLouie, 3. The Fall of Austin by Bowie Ibarra

All of Permuted’s titles are available at and

  1. Thanks for the reviews! The sequel to EX-HEROES, EX-PATRIOTS, will be out in October.

  2. Oh, I’m all over Ex-Patriots! I won a signed copy through Peter Clines’ Facebook contest. There will be much rejoicing when it arrives. And that’s the other great thing about Permuted: author accessibility. You can go right on the website’s message board and interact with most of the authors! It’s pretty freakin’ sweet.

  3. kjburke says:

    Except me. I try to keep our interactions to the bare minimum. But seriously, I’m almost done with The Dead and I have gotten into the second half more than I did the first.

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