Anna and the Apocalypse Book

Have you heard about Anna and the Apocalypse yet? It’s the high school zombie Christmas musical coming to theaters just in time for the holidays this December. But the big screen won’t be the only place you can find the story of Anna as she faces a zombie apocalypse along with all the trials and tribulations of high school.

There will be an Anna and the Apocalypse novelization by Katherine Turner and Barry Waldo (based on the original screenplay by Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry) that will dig even deeper into the characters from the truly unique film. We’ve got the entire first chapter to debut from the book, which you can find out more about below.

Anna and the Apocalypse Book

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Anna and the Apocalypse, you can watch the trailer here or read our review from Fantastic Fest last year. Otherwise, here’s the official synopsis for the book adapting the feature film:

School’s out for the end of the world.  Anna and the Apocalypse is a horror comedy about a teenager who faces down a zombie apocalypse with a little help from her friends.

Anna Shepherd is a straight-A student with a lot going on under the surface: she’s struggling with her mom’s death, total friend drama, and the fallout from wasting her time on a very attractive boy. She’s looking forward to skipping town after graduation?but then a zombie apocalypse majorly disrupts the holidays season. It’s going to be very hard to graduate high school without a brain.

To save the day, Anna, her friends, and her frenemies will have to journey straight to the heart of one of the most dangerous places ever known, a place famous for its horror, terror, and pain…high school.

You might notice that there’s no mention of the musical aspect of the movie, and it seems like that’s something that might go to the wayside in the novelization. After all, song and dance is difficult to convey in text form. But maybe it will be alluded to or included in some fashion. But when Turner and Waldo talk about writing the book, they’re focusing more on expanding what’s in the movie:

Anna and the Apocalypse is a wonderfully realized world, full of strong characters, epic friendships and gripping adventure. The book gave us the chance to delve deeper into relatable, kick-ass characters and really dig into their lives and relationships. The Anna universe is so full of heart and so much fun to explore, it was just a gift to us as writers. It’s definitely the best zombie high school Christmas horror comedy book we’ve ever written!”

The Anna and the Apocalypse book is available for pre-order and will be released on October 23, 2018, but the movie won’t arrive in select theaters until November 30, 2018 with a wider release coming in the following weeks.

Below and on the next page, you can find the entire first chapter of the Anna and the Apocalypse book.

Anna and the Apocalypse: Chapter 1

It was Tuesday.

A regular, boring Tuesday. Really, no different than any other Tuesday that Anna had experienced in her eighteen years on Earth. Wake up, get dressed, get in the car. Her best friend and next­door­neighbor, John, sat beside her in the back seat of her dad’s ancient green rust­bucket, eating his daily jam donut for breakfast as they bumped along the same old streets of Little Haven, their Scottish border town, on their way to school. Left at the post office, right at the supermarket, slow down at the zebra crossing, wave to Mrs. Stevens outside the town hall.

Anna sighed, staring out the window at the dull December sky. There had to be more than this out there. Anything would be better than another identical day. John raised a silent eyebrow before offering her a bite of his donut. Even his breakfast choice was a stable constant. She declined with a shake of the head as her dad turned the radio up until the car’s tinny speakers rattled with the beat. It was all Anna could do to stop herself from opening the door and throwing herself out of the moving vehicle.

The screech of the wheels pulled Anna out of her thoughts as the car came to a sudden stop, her seat belt holding her in place against the force. The same couldn’t be said of John’s coffee.

“Oh gosh!” cried Anna’s dad, Tony, recovering from the emergency stop. In front of them, a lonely figure stumbled out into the street and dropped to the ground. He lay motionless for a moment, and then a pool of blood started spreading slowly from his head.

Well that’s a bit different, Anna thought.


Thirty minutes later, Anna still had her nose pressed against the window, while John strained against his seat belt, practically sitting himself in her lap. An ambulance flashed its lights silently at the side of the road as some­ one was being lifted by paramedics onto a stretcher. An arm, clad in a red jacket, fell off the side of the stretcher and swung lifelessly back and forth. The red jacket, the shiny black boots, a very full white beard . . .

“I can’t believe Santa’s dead!” Anna said sadly.

A long line of traffic had formed behind them up the street, and a crowd of onlookers had gathered to pay their respects as the paramedics pulled up the zipper on Father Christmas’s body bag.

Anna watched her dad finish giving his statement to a police officer before heading back to the car.

“That’s some poor bugger’s Christmas ruined,” said her dad, jumping back in and starting the engine.

“Ho ho no,” John muttered as Tony pulled out, the traffic following from behind. “Who would do such a thing?”

“Easter Bunny,” Anna replied with a mischievous smirk. “It’s a blatant power move. He’s probably in cahoots with the Tooth Fairy—you know she’s always been a bad influence.”

John shook his head, narrowing his eyes. “That buck­ toothed bastard. Who’s going to look after the reindeer? And what about the presents?”

“Don’t worry, I’m sure Mrs. Claus has it covered. Maybe you can lend a hand . . .” Anna suggested. “You’d make a great elf.”

“Who are you calling elfish? I’ll have you know that I’m exceedingly generous.” He nudged her in the ribs, wiggling his eyebrows up and down.

Anna realized years ago, making bad jokes was as important to John as breathing, and if he wasn’t already telling a joke, he was probably thinking about one. At eighteen, she’d given up hope of them ever getting any better. Still, he was the best thing about this town. She didn’t know how she would have managed without her BFF over the last few years.

“What have I told you about the puns?” she reminded him in a stern voice that didn’t quite cover an attack of the giggles. “While we’re on the subject of elves, I reckon your pullover would be quite popular at the North Pole.”

John looked down at his ugly Christmas sweater in mock horror.

“You’re just jealous because you’re not the one dressed like a festive legend.” He sniffed, proudly pushing out his pigeon chest and thrusting the whole mess in Anna’s face. “Oh God, it’s awful,” she laughed, pushing him away.

“Wait for it,” he replied.

As if the mess of Christmas tree, gaudy baubles, snow, and tinsel weren’t enough, John pressed a hidden button and the whole thing lit up, fairy lights flashing on and off. “You’re a lost cause,” Anna laughed, pushing him back across the seat with tears in her eyes. “Get off me!”

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