Daniel Kraus co-wrote Trollhunters with Guillermo del Toro, the basis for the Netflix animated series of the same name. He’s also the author of the horror novels Rotters and Scowler.
His latest project is a two-volume epic about an undead seventeen year old on a secret mission to assassinate Hitler. It began with The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch: At the Edge of Empire (October 2015), and concludes with The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch: Empire Decayed (October 2016).
Entertainment Weekly named the first volume one of the Top Ten Books of 2015, saying “Kraus’s globe-trotting dead kid is by turns cavalier, playful, and thoughtful, and his singular voice — a debonair turn-of-the-century murderer-turned-victim — is utterly riveting,” and Booklist called it “a giant-size epic [that] skillfully blends historical fiction, dark humor, and horror to push readers right to the brink.” There’s a definite YA feel to these books, although there’s also a macabre horror angle, so proceed with caution if you’re a little on the squeamish side.
Here’s the description for the first volume.
May 7, 1896.
Dusk. A swaggering seventeen-year-old gangster named Zebulon Finch is gunned down by the shores of Lake Michigan. But after mere minutes in the void, he is mysteriously resurrected.
His second life will be nothing like his first.
Zebulon’s new existence begins as a sideshow attraction in a traveling medicine show. From there he will be poked and prodded by a scientist obsessed with mastering the secrets of death. He will fight in the trenches of World War I. He will run from his nightmares — and from poverty — in Depression-era New York City. And he will become the companion of the most beautiful woman in Hollywood.
Love, hate, hope, and horror — Zebulon finds them. But will he ever find redemption?
And here’s the jacket copy for volume two.
Zebulon Finch has faced more violence, lust, and heartbreak than any other seventeen-year-old in history. But nothing can prepare him for what is coming next.
Half a century has passed since Zebulon Finch was gunned down and then inexplicably resurrected to experience a second life. Picking up his tale where he left off, Zebulon heads to Nazi Germany on a top-secret mission. From there he escapes to the shiny new world of the suburbs — a tidy neighborhood hiding dark secrets. He will exchange the pains of this world for what he believes will be peace among the stars. He will march for social change all the way to Woodstock, go raving mad in the desert, and finally exit from humanity the only way he knows how. We first met Zebulon sealed in a tomb beneath the World Trade Center — might he yet crawl from the rubble to discover a different America?
And here’s the publishing deets.
The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch: At the Edge of Empire (656 pages, $21.99 in hardcover, $7.99 digital, October 2015)
The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch: Empire Decayed (771 pages, $19.99 in hardcover, $7.99 digital, October 2016)
Both volumes were published by Simon & Schuster.
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