Posts Tagged ‘Zombie’

Zombie Apocalypse: Horror Hospital

October 18, 2014 - 9:01 am No Comments

Mark Morris
Created by Stephen Jones
June 2014

Created by prolific genre editor Stephen Jones, the Zombie Apocalypse series of books have been very popular and contain fake news reports, diaries and stories detailing the apocalypse from a number of writers. The series now continues with a number of spin off novels; this one by Mark Morris and Washington Deceased by Lisa Morton.
For Staff Nurse Cat Harris, busy preoccupied with planning her wedding, the night shift at her hospital in London starts off like any other . . .
Morris hints at a Britain rife with problems; NHS Cuts, a bad economy, armed police, night time curfews following the Trafalgar Square massacre.
Cat’s thoughts are interrupted by what appears to be a drunk woman stumbling in front of her car as she’s driving to work. But as Cat tries to speak to her, she realises the woman isn’t drunk, and she hasn’t been attacked either. There is something seriously wrong with her. She is bestial, feral almost as she lunges to attack Cat in her car.
Still shook up, Cat drives to the hospital for her shift.
The hospital is soon descended on by a variety of people; a young gang after a shoot out and a hen night organised by Lisa that’s invaded by a scary ‘holy’ man with a story of doom who bites a night clubber on the cheek.
The cover art by Joe Roberts is gloriously pulpy and oozes horror vibes, a perfect accompaniment to the content. There are also a couple of nice photographic designs in black and white to illustrate the text.
Morris doesn’t shy away from political opinions here and criticism of the lack of funding and staff for the NHS, but whether it’s just from a character POV or Morris’ own thoughts, it’s hard to tell.
Amidst the mayhem we also have Melinda, just going into labour and her husband Steve, who are heading to the hospital, where all he’ll has broken loose and Cat and the other staff are forced to restrain patients showing rabies-like symptoms.
The action is tightly paced as each chapter spans less than a thirty minute period and each chapter is headed with the time to increase the sense of tension. The virus itself is well played out with authentic medical descriptions of necrosis and the violence is visceral and bloody

Meet Guest Dave Jeffery

August 19, 2013 - 7:14 pm No Comments

Dave Jeffery

I am delighted to introduce another of our guests for Andromeda One Dave Jeffery.

Dave Jeffery is perhaps best known for his zombie novel Necropolis Rising which has gone on to be a UK #1 Bestseller. His Young Adult work includes the critically acclaimed Beatrice Beecham Series, BBC: Headroom endorsed Finding Jericho and the 2012 Edge Hill Prize Long-listed Campfire Chillers short story collection.

Necromancer: Necropolis Rising II is slated for release through Dark Continents Publishing, Inc. in October, 2013. His short story Ascension (featured in ALT-ZOMBIE, Hersham Horror) has been filmed by Venomous Little Man Productions and will be released on the festival circuit throughout 2013. A spin-off 13 part TV series Exodus is currently in development.

Necropolis Rising
Author: Dave Jeffery
Publisher: Disturbed Earth
Page count: 156pp
Release Date: 10th Sept 2010
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
I have a particular fondness for this book because it is set in my hometown Birmingham. Although liberties are taken with locations, Hilton Towers for instance, the urban area is instantly recognisable.
The novel stars with a bang, literally, as the Animal Activist League attacks the property of Dr Whittington in Hilton Towers. The attackers, Sam and Sean, reach the penthouse apartment to find the good doctor munching on the remains of a golden retriever. Then an explosion wracks the room.
We next encounter Kevin O’Connell with Stu Kunaka, Amir and Suzie scoping out a building, the National Criminal Intelligence DNA Database. The group plan to infect the database with a massive computer virus. But they have to get into the building first before they can do it. If they can get into Birmingham centre that is, because the city is in lockdown.
There is a wry sense of humour to the novel and it is very representative of the multi-cultural society we live in. As for Suzie, at first she appears a little clichéd; “As a woman Suzie should’ve turned out a mess.” She was an abused coke addict, hence the cliché and is now a mercenary working with O’Connell, however, the character develops quickly into a strong female figure who can kick arse with the best of them.
Next we meet hard as nails Major Edward Shipman who is trying to control the outbreak, and he is aware that before the explosion in the centre Dr Whittington was involved in The Lazarus Initiative, a covert research programme aimed at bringing soldiers to life. Shipman is determined to find the one person who could be the answer to a cure to the Risen.
If your idea of fun is grisly, gruesome displays of the worst humanity has to offer and a bounty of undead, you will certainly have fun with this book, which is filled with gallows humour.
Apart from the military contingent, these are real people, working class or middle class citizens with a history and survivor instincts. One particular scene (I won’t spoil it for you) is oddly poignant and almost reminiscent of the twin towers destruction of 9/11. There is also a dash of romance going on in this novel that feels warm and comfortable, and does not intrude on the action. There are hints of something larger in the background with the elusive and mysterious Consortium pulling the strings behind the database infection. A little bit of historic zombie lore is also present in the form of a character musing on the Haitian origins of zombies and voodoo. Each character is given a solid back story that helps the reader engage with them. Jeffery has a style which reminded me of William Meikle; nard core pulp with heart. A jolly good adventure that keeps you hooked until the end.

World War Z

March 16, 2013 - 3:45 pm No Comments

World War Z
Author: Max Brooks
Publisher: Gerlad Duuckworth & Co Ltd
Page count/size: 344pp
Release Date: 27 July 2007
Reviewer: Kate Middleton

It began with rumours from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginnings of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse. Faced with a future of mindless, man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the 10-year fight-back against the horde, World War Z brings the very finest traditions of American journalism to bear on what is surely the most incredible story in the history of civilisation.

Reading this book was much like reading an anthology, with the difference that it all ties in, some of the cases moved me, some made me laugh I really enjoyed how this book looked at lots of different angles and points of view. I’ve already recommended this book to friends.

Dead Reaping

January 25, 2013 - 2:09 pm No Comments

Dead Reaping
Author: Ian Woodhead
Page count/size: 113pp/278KB
Release Date: 15th Jan 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Woodhead’s Zombie Armageddon series has been going for quite some time and this around book number five. From the early days of The Unwashed Dead, a zombie fan favourite, to the later books, particularly Dead Veil, Woodhead’s work has been consistent. When reviewing his work I have stated there are editorial issues, however, I have also stated that Woodhead’s zombies are amongst the most intriguing zombies I have come across, with different variations including Hunters, who retain their intellect and ability to speak to the neanderthal-esque Climbers and straight forward dead zombies.

Whilst Woodhead’s books are on the short side, I can safely say that they generally deliver; characters that intrigue the reader and plenty of blood, gore and biting. However, on recently reading Dead Veil, the previous book in the series, the writer left us with a cliffhanger about the Manchester compound, which unfortunately does not get resolved in this book. I suspect he is planning to bring all of the elements together in a further novel to tie it all together. It would be a shame if this wasn’t resolved.

This brings me neatly to Dead Reaping, the continuation of the series, in which we meet a new community of survivors who have created a commune to live together, forage and grow vegetables, despite being surrounded by the dead. Among the commune, there are those who are ‘tainted’ like Clarisse who has a sham marriage to Dominic, and Clarisse carries the zombie gene within her. The commune is policed by Adjustment Officers who clear the surrounding area of the dead, and also hunt out these ‘tainted’ survivors. If Clarisse is discovered, she will be destroyed, so Dominic protects her secret. As well as this group, we have a religious commune ruled by Abbot Moses (Lee) formerly a Hunter, living on scraps of tainted flesh. He ironically preaches abstinence from consuming flesh despite keeping his own small stash. Abbot Moses and his Brothers, are acolytes, with best friend Brother Jacob, are once normal men who use religion to keep control of the Hunters. They exist on their ‘supplements’ of tainted flesh, whilst denying others. But this state of denial can’t last for long, particularly as their mental wellbeing and memories are affected by the lack of flesh.

Back in the other community, there is also the mysteries ‘Our Lady’ who has some sort of power over the tainted and makes predictions about the commune.

There is most definitely a religious overtone to this novel that doesn’t appear in the others, so it comes as something of a surprise and a distraction, and Abbot Moses does become a somewhat confusing character throughout the novel as his mind deteriorates. This is not the best of Woodhead’s novels, however, the series itself is engaging and the big reveal at the end of the novel about one of the characters is a doozy! Furthermore, it does rattle along at a steady pace and the author is always reliable at delivering an interesting slant on the zombie genre. I look forward to his next book and the continuation of the series.

Zom-B & Zom-B Underground

January 11, 2013 - 11:42 pm No Comments

Zom-B & Zom-B Underground
Author: Darren Shan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page count/size: 217/212pp
Release Date: 27th Sept 2012 & 3 Jan 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Darren Shan, successful children’s horror author, has launched this new zombie 12 part series for kids (and discerning adults). The first novel, Zom-B, starts in the Irish village of Palliskenry as young 11 year old Brian Barry searches amidst the zombie attacks for a responsible adult to save him, instead coming across a horrific creature whose version of salvation is to kill the boy. That is ‘Then’.
‘Now’ finds teenager B watching the outbreak disbelievingly on the TV news, scorning the news with Mom & Dad. And Dad is a class act by the way; regularly beating up Mom & B and supporting racist and bigoted political groups. Because of B’s Dad’s racism, B has a ‘secret friend’, Vinyl, a black boy named as such because his Dad works in a retro record store.
A good portion of the book is spent building up the tension as B tries to avoid falling into the same racist trap as Dad, whilst still ending up bullying kids. B is a confused character, loving and hating Dad at the same time, ashamed of Dad’s racism, whilst also longing for acceptance. This brings a whole new and interesting dimension to the novel, which surpasses the level of a good zombie romp, whilst still retaining this vibe.
There are some great visual horror touches to the book, particularly in B’s dream sequences, which are really quite creepy and in Zom-B Underground, the teenager’s first encounter with the strange Mr Dowling.
Visually, both books are strong as well, boasting fine interior artwork to illustrate key passages.
B Smith is, as mentioned earlier, a complex character, reminiscent of the likes if Danny McCoyne from David Moody’s Hater series; flawed, yet likeable.
There is so much more to this book than I expected there to be. With a couple if neat twists, some age appropriate visceral horror and laugh out loud humour, Shan again proves he is a top notch children’s writer.

This brings me on neatly to Zom-B Underground, the second book in the series released Jan 2013. This book starts with a quick summary of the events in the first book, before launching in with B Smith awakening after these events. In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I’m keeping this short & sweet. B wakes up in some sort of military complex, held prisoner underground and interrogated by doctors and the military. Eventually let into a relaxation area, B meets similar teenagers trapped in the underground complex. B has some difficult choices to make as the book progresses, and as with the first book, there is plenty of action, horrific moments and great character development.
I look forward to the next installment.