I recently finished reading Rotting Frontier by Dave Atwell. At just a couple hundred pages it's an easy read, and without the heavy commitment required by many modern Fantasy mega novels.
It chronicles the attempt of a family torn and tired of the American Civil War to move west by covered wagon, away from conflict towards the Bozeman trail in hopes of profiting off the gold rush. Along the way they get caught up in the fight between the survivors of a small town and men under a curse called The Hunger that makes them crave human flesh.
Mind you, these aren't zombies. They have similar trappings, but these people retain their senses and faculties as long as they feed, though they become more zombie-like if they allow the condition to progress. Don't go in assuming everything you know about zombies can be applied here. While The Hunger and zombies live in the same house, they aren't related.
The pacing goes back and forth between aspects of day-to-day frontier survival and frenetic action as the members of the troupe deal with clashing personalities and the dangers surrounding the town. It can, at times, get a little monotonous with extended expositions about what each of the dozen or so survivors is doing at any given time, but these sequences tend to end before they wear out their welcome. The characters themselves have realistic flaws and values that drive the drama, to the point where you may get frustrated with the motivations of some of the less appealing personalities. But differences are forgotten when revolvers, rifles, and tomahawks start telling a more action-oriented story as the town comes under attack. Before I knew it the novel was over, and I'll have to look towards the second volume for the continuation of the story.
Fans of Weird West, Civil War era fiction, Zombies, and Powder Fantasy would be remiss on passing up Rotting Frontier. Pick it up if you enjoy any of these things.
Avoid Rotting frontier if you dislike books with violence and some harsh language, character driven stories, and bleak settings.
If you read Rotting Frontier I'd love to hear your comments on it, feel free to post or send me a message.