Somewhere between Mad Max and the zany humor of the original Dawn of the Dead, K.S. Merbeth's book Bite is a dark and fun read.
Yes, it does deal with horrible things such as abuse, murder, assault, and cannibalism in a serious way; but it does so without turning into a grim and dour read. At its heart, this is a book about the family you choose and what you would do for them, wrapped up in the trappings of a hard PG-13 or R-rated adventure flick that you can read. And what better special effects team is there than your own brain?
I found the book to be engrossing and creative, while not taking itself too seriously. The characters are memorable, distinct, and half the fun is just seeing what will occur as they traverse their wasteland world and deal with each other, as well as those not part of their group. It looks to be part of a series, so if you do enjoy it, there should be more to come.
On the downside? We don't have a lot of uber-realism here. There are nods to it, and the harshness of life, but if you want your apocalypse to stick up to scientific scrutiny and give you the minutia of life, this one might not be for you. Sometimes the characters felt more like caricatures than "real" people. If you're not into tales of cannibalism and murder with occasional bouts of assault and dismemberment, I'd also stay away from this book.
Taken as a whole, Bite is a fun read. A wild and crazy adventure with a strange, post-apocalyptic family that has a good immersive quality, took me about five hours to read, and tops out at 409 pages.