The Reanimation of Edward Schuett by Derek J. Goodman is the most incredible zombie concept that I've read since Kim Paffenroth's Dying to Live series; Edward shambled through my dreams for several nights, after I finished reading the novel. I just couldn't stop thinking about the story - I've never even heard of Goodman before this, but he has my undying attention now.
Not only is Edward a thinking zombie, but he still has some memories of his previous life, as well as some amazing new abilities that appear to be an anomaly among the undead. In the opening of the story, Edward suddenly gains self-awareness, as well as flashbacks to both his life as a human and a thoughtless zombie, and begins a journey to discover what happened to him. He is both devastated and shocked to find out that he has been wandering as one of the undead for about fifty years. The discovery only leads to more questions. After being captured by living survivors, the news of his exceptional nature travels to several different interest groups: one wants to help him find his answers, another wants him dead.
There wasn't a cliff-hanger, and the novel appears to be able to stand alone, but I would love Good man to consider writing a sequel. I became so engrossed with some of the supporting characters - specifically Rae, a security guard that tries to protect Edward - that I would love to know what becomes of them after their encounter with Edward. However, I was satisfied with the ending; I thought Goodman did a great job of tying up the loose ends without rushing through the details.
The Reanimation of Edward Schuett adds a whole new level to the role of survivor.