The Last Mailman: Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Zombies by Kevin J. Burke is not at all what I was expecting from the title. It is not about a man delivering mail between survivor outposts or anything like that. It's about survivors trying to tie up loose ends, so they can move on with their new lives; sometimes they find peace, and other times they lose the last of their hope. Even though this is a zombie novel, it's so much more than just a story about surviving in a post-apocalyptic world. It's about the frailty of people, how they adapt to extraordinary situations, and what the "mailman" truly represents.
I loved how this book doesn't conform to the existing formula for zombies. The story takes place years after the zombie apocalypse has wiped out most of society. Mankind exists in tiny pockets of people, essentially as individual countries smaller than the size of pre-apocalypse city populations. It goes into a completely different direction and forces the reader to think about what the new societies are willing to do to exist.
For some of the characters, the past is a link that helps them weather the obstacles of the present and work toward the promise of a future cure. For the others, desperation is the real disease that infects the living and threatens the very foundation of their survival. The key strength of the storyline is Burke's creative construction of internal and external conflicts for his characters, at once humanizing them and drawing readers into their struggles.