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Xombies: Apocalypse Blues

(Xombies #1)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  1,453 ratings  ·  100 reviews
When the Agent X plague struck, it infected women first, turning them into mindless killers intent only on creating an army of "Xombies" by spreading their disease.

Running for her life, seventeen-year-old Lulu is rescued by the father she has never known and taken aboard a refitted nuclear submarine that has one mission: to save a little bit of humanity.

Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Ace (first published February 23rd 2004)
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,453 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Dec 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I am only about a quarter through but I feel compelled to respond to the many Goodreads reviewers who say this isn't a zombie novel.

It's a zombie novel.

They urghh and arghh like any zombie just a little faster. Just because you place a X instead of a Z doesn't make it different. You can put replace SK in skunk with a X and it stills stinks.

But is it a good zombie novel? It's a little early to tell but so far I keep thinking of Xunks.


I finished it and will have a rating and full review
Dec 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, first-reads
The best parts of the story itself had very little to do with the zombies, spelled with an "X" for reasons that will become apparent to anyone who reads the book. The strength of the story is the tale of what mankind will do in a truly global crisis, and how they react, as groups or as individuals.
The cover artist, or the art director who approved the design, should of course be severely punished. The abnormally young appearance of the central character is a major plot point, and she HAS no clea
Cindy Engelhardt
Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young women and people who like well written literary novels
Recommended to Cindy by: my sister
This book is not for genre fans. It is a literary novel that happens to include zombies and a submarine. If you're interested in a well written novel with a deeply flawed and interesting female protagonist, read this book. All my female friends love this book, and so do I.
Feb 02, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, horror
Well, I gave this book the old 100 page try and gave up then. I have way too many books vying for my attention to force myself to finish a book that is boring me witless.

Xombies started out well with a young girl named Lulu waking up one day to discover the world has gone mad and it seems that all women have turned into raging blue-faced Xombies due to some sort of disease. Lulu escapes this fate because she has a health condition that prevents her from maturing. After watching her mother turn b
I expected a fun and gory zombie story. The submarine details were excruciatingly tedious and Mr. Cowper's overdone New England accent drove me nuts. I gave up after 100 pages.
Sep 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First published back in 2004, Walter Greatshell’s debut novel ‘Xombies’ (later reissued under the title ‘Xombies: Apocalypse Blues’) was originally planned to be titled ‘Dead Sea’ referring not only the classic George Romero zombie films, but also the extinct culture of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the inner sea of the human body – specifically, the tides of the menstrual cycle (the X in Xombies refers to the female chromosome). The title is also more relevant to the submarine voyage and its resulti ...more
Jeff Jellets
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombies, fiction
Xombies is a hard book to categorize.

It would be easy to just pigeonhole it as yet another zombie apocalypse story – but that would be the lazy reviewer’s way out because there’s a lot more to Xombies then … well … ummm … zombies. From a bit of The Hunt for Red October, to (as the cover proclaims) Lord of the Flies, to grim dystopian sci-fi, Xombies seems to move pretty effortlessly from genre to genre. But let’s start out with the zombie stuff because there’s nothing I like better than a good z
Robert Beveridge
Walter Greatshell, Xombies (Berkley, 2004)

Fairly standard zombie novel, when it's a zombie novel, but it very quickly becomes something else; the zombies are just a prop to get our core group of survivors onto a nuclear sub, where the real core of zombie novels-- the interplay between the survivors-- takes place. Not much chance to actually see too many zombies once they're on the sub, so some might consider this a bit of mismarketing. Me, I liked it well enough.

The plot: the survivors of a glob
Jason Bradley Thompson
The best zombie book (okay, specifically: running zombies) I've ever read, bar none. An ultra-weird science fiction bio-apocalypse with the world transformed instantaneously into a crazed game of "blob tag" between billions of unkillable blue zombies and a rapidly dwindling number of military outposts.

The gigantic zombie crowd scenes here anticipate the "World War Z" movie, but whereas that movie is serious and Brad-Pitt-heroic all through, this book is a bit more gonzo and funny. Not overtly co
Feb 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombies
Here we have another take on zombies. The pandemic starts with women. Who knew?

Somehow, women contract the virus and all adult women begin turning into xombies. They, in turn infect other women and men.

Several well to do types escape to island free of the xombies along with some less well to do types. The less well to do types aren't given the same treatment as the haves. Some are even subjected to prison-style makeovers to become dates for the big-wigs. Down right scary, if you ask me.

Anyway, t
Sep 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, read-in-2011
This book looked so good and I was so excited to read it. What a disappointment. For a book entitled Xombies (Zombies), you would expect xombies and to be scared....I did. You only see or experience these creatures in about 20% of the book. When you do, the author does it very well and you will be scared or creeped out! But most of the book is spent w/ simply the knowledge that these things existed....nothing more. If I hadn't had such high hopes, I probably wouldn't have been so disappoined. I ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
A muddled book. Too much going on and poorly executed. Parts were rushed while others were too descriptive. At least I found a book to fulfill my "X" 2017 alphabet challenge...
William M.
Jun 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
If you have never heard of Walter Greatshell before, join the club. He seemed to have come out of nowhere and dive onto the scene with this very exciting zombie novel with a military/sci-fi/medical twist. The first two thirds are the strongest, and then the book takes a drastic shift. Some will enjoy it, some might not. I was in between. It was still very gripping, just not what I expected. I had a hard time believing that things could have been as organized as they were (at the air base) in suc ...more
May 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Xombies is a magnificent and unique take on the zombie genre, a genre that was slowly shuffling into popularity back in 2004 when the book was first released. A 'Must Read'. I can't wait for the sequel!
Feb 13, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Probably 2 & 1/2 stars. I liked this at the beginning, lots of scary zombie (er, xombie) goodness. However, the explanation for the virus stinks & the dialogue is terrible. I get that the guy has a Boston accent, I don't need it to be constantly spelled out. "Ya gatta look inta my haht!"
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic exploration of what happens when the world goes to hell. Loved it. Gotta get the second one now!"
Rae  Walker
Feb 27, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
Couldn't even get through it- and I love zombie stories. Horribly written, will spare no more words for this drivel. That's right, I called it drivel.
Jean St.Amand
A pretty fun xombie book. The final part was a bit over the top, language wise...a little hard to follow. I liked what happened to Lulu's ''boys'' at the end. I know there are a couple of sequels but my library doesn't have them so I might never read them. I think, though, that the way Xombies ended was a good ending and could have been THE end, without sequels, so I'm happy with the way it ended.
Amy Webster-Bo
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
first book though I read it as Xombies apoclypso blues, was still good
Ana Mardoll
Feb 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Xombies: Apocalypse Blues / 978-0-441-01835-2

I love zombie fiction, and seem to be going through a lot of it lately. "Xombies" is one of those apocalypse novels where the emphasis is so much more on the human reaction to the breakdown of society, rather than on the cause of the breakdown itself - to the point where the zombies (or "xombies", if you prefer) could be just as easily replaced by space aliens or an invading force of Teletubbies and the book would still read pretty much the same.

It sh
Patrick D'Orazio
Its hard for me to pin this book down. It is not really a book about Zombies, except in only the slightest sense-at least not any zombies I have ever read or seen. You could say that these creatures are dead and want you to join which case, they are a zombie variation, but honestly they are not. They are just as much vampires as zombies in that they give you the "kiss of death" and poof! you are one of them.

What I liked about this story was that the author took a great deal of time cr
Zombieslayer/Alienhunter {merry wanderer of the night}
I slugged my way through the first half of this book figuring i'd probably give it two stars.
I'm just out of a reading slump, and I wanted to return to my comfort zone; booting, shooting, slaying, spraying, tearing up and burning down zombies every way possible.

Walter Greatshell's Xombies was one of the first few zombie titles I added to my TBR after joining Goodreads, if the first half of my username doesn't suggest that I have a slight infactuation with the dearly undeparted.

That being said, X
Kayla Bellinger
I was desperate for a title that began with the letter X when I found this book. Described as "28 Days Later meets Lord of the Flies," I thought I might as well give it a go. I loved 28 Days Later, and I really enjoyed the Forest of Hands and Teeth series, so a zombie book seemed like a great idea.

Walter Greatshell's writing was okay. He jumped into the action really quickly, after giving a pretty decent description of the main character, Lulu, and her mother and their life. I didn't really feel
Premenstrual hater. The premise of the story is this: One day all the women who were menstruating turned into blue zombies, went nuts and spent the remainder of the story sharing the wealth. X= female gene, get it?
Lacking. The tale has no imagination, significance, and continuity.
Offensive. It overflows with sexism, prejudice, and bigotry. Believe me people it’s pretty hard to offend me, yet this book did it with every turn of the page.
Trite. It tries your patience with impossible scenarios,
Dec 11, 2009 rated it liked it
When I requested this book as part of the First Reads program, I was initially drawn to it by the combination of zombies and apocalyptic fiction, hoping it might be reminiscent of a recent favorite, The Forest of Hands and Teeth. However, Xombies is really a very different kind of book, both because it's science fiction rather than dark fantasy, and because it's apocalyptic rather than post-apocalyptic. Thus I expected to read a great deal more about how the zombie epidemic took place and less e ...more
Trupti Dorge
Jul 26, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Xombies…What do I say about this book? I picked it up from a store because of the awesome cover and of course because it had Zombies. It does starts with some fun and gory zombie fighting that I was expecting from this book in the first place. The Zombies are created by a virus called Agent X which mysteriously affects women first.

17 year old Lulu and an old guy Mr. Cowper flee from their homes and go to a Navy base to find protection with the navy. Cowper is supposed to be Lulu’s father, the gu
May 18, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
Agent X has swept across the world and devastated the human race. Starting out among the women of childbearing years who would turn blue and suddenly gain super strength, speed, and healing abilities, they then started making it a point to administer the kiss of "salvation" to anyone around them. Problem is, most people don't see being turned into something akin to a zombie as salvation.

Lulu and her mother have just driven cross-country in an attempt to find Lulu's biological father and have be
Non Terrenum
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book is about zombies, more interestingly xombies.

It’s a book that defines an all new type of zombie… Fast, smart, their body parts forever crawling after you with insatiable need. Oh… And they’re blue…

Lulu is a seventeen year old wanderer thanks to her mom. Because of this the two of them are some of the last people who realize that the world as they know it is over. The same day she loses her mom she meets up with an old man who is supposedly her dad and for and old dude he really kicks s
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, zombies
This book is a total train wreck, and yet strangely readable. However it's the first of a trilogy, and I have no plans to read the rest of the series. Essentially, a man-made zombie-like plague has descended on the world, only women are more easily susceptible to it than men, thus infected humans are called Xombies. Our heroine is a 17-year-old who appears to be unaffected by the plague and manages to escape with her estranged father onto a returned-to-action Navy sub.

The writing isn't terrible,
Dec 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: zombie lovers
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Zombies Vs. Unicorns: I found a new zombie book 4 4 Jan 07, 2012 05:02PM  
Message from Walter Greatshell 2 20 Sep 23, 2011 06:39AM  

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Walter Greatshell here. I am the author of XOMBIES (Berkley, 2004), which was re-released as XOMBIES: APOCALYPSE BLUES (2009), and followed by the sequels XOMBIES: APOCALYPTICON (2010), and XOMBIES: APOCALYPSO (2011). I am also author of the novels MAD SKILLS, ENORMITY (published under the pen name W.G. Marshall), and TERMINAL ISLAND. My short stories have appeared in the anthologies THE LIVING DE ...more

Other books in the series

Xombies (3 books)
  • Xombies: Apocalypticon (Xombies, #2)
  • Xombies: Apocalypso (Xombies, #3)
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