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Minecraft: Zombies Unleashed!

An Official Minecraft Novel

Part of Minecraft

Read by Tara Sands
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On sale Jul 09, 2024 | 4 Hours and 42 Minutes | 9780593909874
Age 10 and up | Grades 6-12
The Overworld is in trouble.
 
On the ground, a rampaging army of armor-clad zombies is roving across the biomes. In the sky, a wicked Wither is leaving a path of destruction—and Wither roses—wherever it goes.
 
And in Bobbie’s party, the tension is tighter than a skeleton’s bowstring . . . because, somehow, Logan just became its newest member. The same Logan who set zombies on Bobbie’s village and turned her little brother, Johnny, into one of the walking dead. Who bullied her friend Ben and wrecked his adventuring career. Who was mean to his minion, Other Ben (who prefers Benjamin, actually). But as the Wither skulls start flying, this not-so-merry band needs all the help it can get.
 
Bobbie hasn’t forgotten her main mission: Find the zombified villagers who were once her friends and family and feed them the enchanted golden apples that will turn them back. But as long as the Wither exists, there’s danger. And if there’s danger, it’s a hero’s job to fix it. As much as Bobbie dislikes heroes, she and her friends (and also Logan) look like the closest thing the Overworld’s got.
Chapter 1

When the sun went down in the Overworld, monstrous mobs spread across the land. They crept out from caverns and emerged from dark forests. By the light of the moon, they skittered and staggered unrestrained across mountain and desert, swamp and plain. Their intentions were incomprehensible, their numbers inexhaustible.

Logan had a strategy for defeating each one.

Skeletons would fire arrows from a distance, but a well-placed shield would keep those arrows from finding their mark. It took great skill to intercept an arrow, counterattack, and then be ready for the next arrow.

Luckily, Logan had skill to spare.

Creepers relied on stealth. If they could get close to an unsuspecting victim, they would explode, causing tremendous damage. Only a talented adventurer could spot them and smite them from afar before they could close the distance.

Fortunately, Logan had no shortage of talent.

As for zombies? Zombies were easy. Kid stuff. Sword, crossbow, or trident—take your pick. Any armed adventurer could hold their own against a zombie.

But a dozen zombies? A hundred zombies, and more? Now, that was a challenge.

Logan should know. He’d once commanded an entire horde of zombies. He’d used them to terrorize villages and decimate his foes. It had been fun.

It was much less fun being on the other side—also known as the losing side.

“We’re too late,” said Bobbie. “Again.”

There was no surprise in her voice, only sadness and regret. Bobbie was usually hopeful to an extent that Logan found deeply annoying, but even she’d known what to expect when they’d seen the smoke rising up into the darkening sky: another ruined village. Another shattered, smoldering landscape.

Destruction was the only thing their enemy left in its wake. Destruction . . . ​and strange black flowers. They had sprouted throughout the wreckage of the village, strangely beautiful amid all the devastation. As beautiful as they were, they were also deadly.

“Nobody touch those flowers,” Logan told his companions.

One of the two Bens—the younger one—scowled at Logan. “We’re not total fools, you know.”

Logan had to try hard not to make a comment about that. His traveling companions were, in fact, a band of fools. There was Bobbie, the eternal optimist, who had been raised by villagers and hadn’t even wanted to become an adventurer. There were the two Bens, both of whom used to worship Logan but now tended to glare angrily at him. Last and definitely least, there was Johnny, the baby zombie villager, who followed Bobbie around like a tame wolf. Logan had never seen anything like it—and he’d spent a lot of time around zombies.

Logan was the fifth and final member of their little troupe, and he feared he might be the biggest fool of all. The king of fools! After all, he had agreed to join the others on what could only be described as a fool’s errand.

They were hunting a Wither—an undead powerhouse with three heads, the power of flight, and an endless supply of explosive projectile skulls.

Logan didn’t have a strategy for fighting that. Not yet, anyway.

A low, threatening growl sounded from nearby. At first, Logan thought it was Johnny. But then an adult zombie lurched into view, emerging from the shattered doorway of the nearest structure.

One of the two Bens—the older one this time—frowned at Logan. “One of yours?” he asked.

“How should I know?” Logan complained. “I didn’t give them name tags.” He pulled his favorite diamond sword from his inventory.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Bobbie said. “Put that sword away!”

“You can’t be serious,” Logan said.

Johnny glared at Logan and growled.

That’s right. Even the undead baby was giving him attitude. How had it come to this?

As if in answer to his unspoken question, Logan recalled the events that had led him here.

It had been such a simple idea—as most brilliant ideas are. Logan had enjoyed a long and successful career as an adventurer, but with success had come a number of grudges. He held a grudge against the aged, retired adventurer who had refused to take him on as an apprentice; he held a grudge against the band of heroes who’d rejected his application to their little club; and of course, there was his grudge against Bobbie’s whole village—they’d tried to deny him precious resources that, as an adventurer, should have been his for the taking.

And so Logan had turned his mind toward revenge—and on how to achieve it without putting himself directly in danger. And zombies were the answer. They were easy to find. Easy to replace. Their numbers seemed infinite. And unlike the fellow travelers Logan sometimes relied upon, such as Older Ben and Younger Ben and the devious duo known as Hatchet and Flip, zombies were extremely consistent. Their behavior was easy to predict—and therefore easy to control. Logan only had to gather them, point them in the direction of his enemies—and set them loose to do their worst.

It worked better than he’d hoped. Bobbie’s entire village had been destroyed overnight. As her friends and neighbors had fallen to zombie attacks, they became zombies themselves, adding their number to the ranks of Logan’s growing army.

Other villages fell just as easily. There was only one weakness to Logan’s wicked plan: the sunlight.

Zombies burned up in the daytime. With one mistake of timing, in the blink of an eye, his entire army could be reduced to ash and rotten flesh.

Logan couldn’t risk that. The embarrassment would be too much! And the thought of starting over again from scratch was just too depressing.

So Logan began outfitting his army. Protected by iron helms, his zombies no longer had to be kept underground by day and attack only by night. Logan’s movements were no longer constrained to the use of subterranean tunnels. He had been able to catch the Overworld Overlords off guard by launching an invasion in broad daylight!

But it was when he went after the legendary Pigstep Peggy that all Logan’s plans fell apart, devolving into chaos. Peggy had met Logan’s undead army with an undead force of her own—a troop of zombified piglins transported to the Overworld from the fearsome Nether dimension.

And that was only the start of Peggy’s counterattack. It was she who’d set three obsidian-black skulls atop a mound of soul sand. It was she who’d spawned the Wither.

But it had been a fatal mistake. There was no controlling a Wither. She’d been blasted into oblivion. And Logan, as skillful and as talented as he was, only barely survived the encounter himself.

Worse, he lost his army. In the chaos that followed the battle, the Wither had fled into the Overworld, and Logan’s zombie horde had gone with it.

Which explained why he had resorted to joining Bobbie and the Bens. But there was no guarantee he’d stick around for long. Not if they kept acting like he was the burden. And getting in the way of his combat encounters.

Sword, crossbow, or trident. Logan had a dozen strategies for defeating zombies.

But if he wasn’t allowed to fight them? Not even to defend himself? Well, that was a whole new challenge for him.

And he couldn’t shake the feeling that his new companions and their ridiculous rules were going to get him killed.
Nick Eliopulos is a professional writer, editor, game designer, and teacher. (He likes to keep busy.) He is the author of two officially licensed Minecraft chapter book series, the Woodsword Chronicles, and the Stonesword Saga, as well as the co-author of the Adventurers Guild trilogy. Nick was born in Florida, lives in Brooklyn, and spends most of his free time in the Nether. View titles by Nick Eliopulos

About

The Overworld is in trouble.
 
On the ground, a rampaging army of armor-clad zombies is roving across the biomes. In the sky, a wicked Wither is leaving a path of destruction—and Wither roses—wherever it goes.
 
And in Bobbie’s party, the tension is tighter than a skeleton’s bowstring . . . because, somehow, Logan just became its newest member. The same Logan who set zombies on Bobbie’s village and turned her little brother, Johnny, into one of the walking dead. Who bullied her friend Ben and wrecked his adventuring career. Who was mean to his minion, Other Ben (who prefers Benjamin, actually). But as the Wither skulls start flying, this not-so-merry band needs all the help it can get.
 
Bobbie hasn’t forgotten her main mission: Find the zombified villagers who were once her friends and family and feed them the enchanted golden apples that will turn them back. But as long as the Wither exists, there’s danger. And if there’s danger, it’s a hero’s job to fix it. As much as Bobbie dislikes heroes, she and her friends (and also Logan) look like the closest thing the Overworld’s got.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

When the sun went down in the Overworld, monstrous mobs spread across the land. They crept out from caverns and emerged from dark forests. By the light of the moon, they skittered and staggered unrestrained across mountain and desert, swamp and plain. Their intentions were incomprehensible, their numbers inexhaustible.

Logan had a strategy for defeating each one.

Skeletons would fire arrows from a distance, but a well-placed shield would keep those arrows from finding their mark. It took great skill to intercept an arrow, counterattack, and then be ready for the next arrow.

Luckily, Logan had skill to spare.

Creepers relied on stealth. If they could get close to an unsuspecting victim, they would explode, causing tremendous damage. Only a talented adventurer could spot them and smite them from afar before they could close the distance.

Fortunately, Logan had no shortage of talent.

As for zombies? Zombies were easy. Kid stuff. Sword, crossbow, or trident—take your pick. Any armed adventurer could hold their own against a zombie.

But a dozen zombies? A hundred zombies, and more? Now, that was a challenge.

Logan should know. He’d once commanded an entire horde of zombies. He’d used them to terrorize villages and decimate his foes. It had been fun.

It was much less fun being on the other side—also known as the losing side.

“We’re too late,” said Bobbie. “Again.”

There was no surprise in her voice, only sadness and regret. Bobbie was usually hopeful to an extent that Logan found deeply annoying, but even she’d known what to expect when they’d seen the smoke rising up into the darkening sky: another ruined village. Another shattered, smoldering landscape.

Destruction was the only thing their enemy left in its wake. Destruction . . . ​and strange black flowers. They had sprouted throughout the wreckage of the village, strangely beautiful amid all the devastation. As beautiful as they were, they were also deadly.

“Nobody touch those flowers,” Logan told his companions.

One of the two Bens—the younger one—scowled at Logan. “We’re not total fools, you know.”

Logan had to try hard not to make a comment about that. His traveling companions were, in fact, a band of fools. There was Bobbie, the eternal optimist, who had been raised by villagers and hadn’t even wanted to become an adventurer. There were the two Bens, both of whom used to worship Logan but now tended to glare angrily at him. Last and definitely least, there was Johnny, the baby zombie villager, who followed Bobbie around like a tame wolf. Logan had never seen anything like it—and he’d spent a lot of time around zombies.

Logan was the fifth and final member of their little troupe, and he feared he might be the biggest fool of all. The king of fools! After all, he had agreed to join the others on what could only be described as a fool’s errand.

They were hunting a Wither—an undead powerhouse with three heads, the power of flight, and an endless supply of explosive projectile skulls.

Logan didn’t have a strategy for fighting that. Not yet, anyway.

A low, threatening growl sounded from nearby. At first, Logan thought it was Johnny. But then an adult zombie lurched into view, emerging from the shattered doorway of the nearest structure.

One of the two Bens—the older one this time—frowned at Logan. “One of yours?” he asked.

“How should I know?” Logan complained. “I didn’t give them name tags.” He pulled his favorite diamond sword from his inventory.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Bobbie said. “Put that sword away!”

“You can’t be serious,” Logan said.

Johnny glared at Logan and growled.

That’s right. Even the undead baby was giving him attitude. How had it come to this?

As if in answer to his unspoken question, Logan recalled the events that had led him here.

It had been such a simple idea—as most brilliant ideas are. Logan had enjoyed a long and successful career as an adventurer, but with success had come a number of grudges. He held a grudge against the aged, retired adventurer who had refused to take him on as an apprentice; he held a grudge against the band of heroes who’d rejected his application to their little club; and of course, there was his grudge against Bobbie’s whole village—they’d tried to deny him precious resources that, as an adventurer, should have been his for the taking.

And so Logan had turned his mind toward revenge—and on how to achieve it without putting himself directly in danger. And zombies were the answer. They were easy to find. Easy to replace. Their numbers seemed infinite. And unlike the fellow travelers Logan sometimes relied upon, such as Older Ben and Younger Ben and the devious duo known as Hatchet and Flip, zombies were extremely consistent. Their behavior was easy to predict—and therefore easy to control. Logan only had to gather them, point them in the direction of his enemies—and set them loose to do their worst.

It worked better than he’d hoped. Bobbie’s entire village had been destroyed overnight. As her friends and neighbors had fallen to zombie attacks, they became zombies themselves, adding their number to the ranks of Logan’s growing army.

Other villages fell just as easily. There was only one weakness to Logan’s wicked plan: the sunlight.

Zombies burned up in the daytime. With one mistake of timing, in the blink of an eye, his entire army could be reduced to ash and rotten flesh.

Logan couldn’t risk that. The embarrassment would be too much! And the thought of starting over again from scratch was just too depressing.

So Logan began outfitting his army. Protected by iron helms, his zombies no longer had to be kept underground by day and attack only by night. Logan’s movements were no longer constrained to the use of subterranean tunnels. He had been able to catch the Overworld Overlords off guard by launching an invasion in broad daylight!

But it was when he went after the legendary Pigstep Peggy that all Logan’s plans fell apart, devolving into chaos. Peggy had met Logan’s undead army with an undead force of her own—a troop of zombified piglins transported to the Overworld from the fearsome Nether dimension.

And that was only the start of Peggy’s counterattack. It was she who’d set three obsidian-black skulls atop a mound of soul sand. It was she who’d spawned the Wither.

But it had been a fatal mistake. There was no controlling a Wither. She’d been blasted into oblivion. And Logan, as skillful and as talented as he was, only barely survived the encounter himself.

Worse, he lost his army. In the chaos that followed the battle, the Wither had fled into the Overworld, and Logan’s zombie horde had gone with it.

Which explained why he had resorted to joining Bobbie and the Bens. But there was no guarantee he’d stick around for long. Not if they kept acting like he was the burden. And getting in the way of his combat encounters.

Sword, crossbow, or trident. Logan had a dozen strategies for defeating zombies.

But if he wasn’t allowed to fight them? Not even to defend himself? Well, that was a whole new challenge for him.

And he couldn’t shake the feeling that his new companions and their ridiculous rules were going to get him killed.

Author

Nick Eliopulos is a professional writer, editor, game designer, and teacher. (He likes to keep busy.) He is the author of two officially licensed Minecraft chapter book series, the Woodsword Chronicles, and the Stonesword Saga, as well as the co-author of the Adventurers Guild trilogy. Nick was born in Florida, lives in Brooklyn, and spends most of his free time in the Nether. View titles by Nick Eliopulos