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The Devil's Plague (Tomes of the Dead) [Mass Market Paperback]

Mark Beynon
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 Oct. 2007 Tomes of the Dead
The Civil War was just the beginning...To help him attain victory over the Royalists, Oliver Cromwell has made a pact with the Devil. In return for his soul, he has been given a fearsome demon army - a blood-thirsty platoon of ancient evil...the Kryfangan! With Charles Stuart, the rightful heir to the English throne seemingly killed in battle and his Scottish army slaughtered by the Kryfangan, Cromwell now has control of Parliament. However, by the time the Kryfangan's real identity is revealed to Cromwell, it is too late to stop their relentless killing spree. And when the true nature of the Great Plague is exposed, London soon becomes a city overrun by zombie hordes. The English must put aside their religious, social and political differences as they find themselves caught between two armies of the dead waging war with one another!

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rebellion (11 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905437412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905437412
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 2.3 x 10.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,856,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Mark Beynon has had screenplays in development with the UK Film Council and Screen South. He began his writing career with a succession of acclaimed theatrical productions before moving into the short film arena where he enjoyed making the official selection of some of the UK's top film festivals. The Devil's Plague is Mark's debut novel.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
The unrelenting sun baked the blood red sand of the battlefield, forming a burgundy coloured mirage that seemed to shimmer across the wasteland. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some things you don't learn in history lessons! 15 April 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When I first bought this book, it was more due to curiosity. The idea of Oliver Cromwell & the roundheads vs. The zombie plague sounded both brilliant and at the same time, very, very stupid.

To read this, you need to suspend your skepticism. The plot is actually far sharper than you'd expect, reasoning the zombie plague of 1651 fairly well. Basically, Cromwell makes the same mistake as King Leonidas and Genghis Khan in selling the Devil his soul in return for the monstrous Kryfangan, an army of demonic horsemen led by...well, I won't give their leaders away, but they're fairly nasty. However, the Kryfangan's victims aren't staying dead. Zombies are marauding around post-civil war Britain, chewing everyone.

Yet there are a fair few flaws. Firstly, the characters, apart from Davenant, Cromwell (who's actually the villain) and Mary, they rather lack personality. I feel that maybe there are a few too many, meaning that most remain pretty 1 dimensional. Also the beggining's pretty dull, no zombies or demons, which is, though more historically accurate, rather boring. All that really happens is they wander about. Later on, there's a 'London is a zombie city' scene that dwarfs all zombie stories before, but could be played on more. I want to see whole chapters dedicated to the battles of man, demon and zombie.

To be fair, I may be being a little harsh. The book earns its 4/5 status from background. Instead of a cliched zombie romp we have a historical zombie war which, in very Doctor Who-esque fashion, explains several historical events while retaining that 'It may have really happened' quality. Also, the reference to other historical zombie plagues, in ancient Greece and Mongolia, and a superb twist ending set in 1940 or so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read some good books, some average books and even some terrible books. This is the only book that was so boring, badly written and mindnumbing that I actually just stopped reading it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A historical British Zombie yarn. 3.5 stars. 21 Mar. 2008
By Patrick S. Dorazio - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Devil's Plague takes place during the English Civil War (British Civil War?) and Oliver Cromwell, the leader of the Parlimentarians, has made a deal with the Devil (aka Mr. Cipher...perhaps a nod to Louis Cipher, from the movie "Angel Heart"?) that unleashes the Kryfangan, a demon army that looks somewhat like giant amphibians, upon the Royalist army, led by Charles Stuart, the heir to the English throne. They also were around in the time of Gengis Khan, who also signed up to have them fight for him. It seems they have been around since the dawn of humanity, getting greedy men to sign over their souls for the chance for them to fight for them.

The catch is that those killed by the Krynfangan rise from the dead, thus the undead tie in with this novel. The strange thing about the undead that rise is they have a real hate for the Kryfangan as well as all humanity. I guess I would figure the Kryf would lead the undead army to humanities entire destruction but instead, they seem forced to go to war with the undead after they all die by their blades or the undead kill all the human beings around them.

Overall, this story is well written but I really did not think it was all that compelling of a zombie story. Most of our time is spent with a rag tag band of actors who team up with Charles in an effort to stop Cromwell and then the Kryf and undead menace. The characters are somewhat interesting but not fascinating enough to have held my attention for the entirety of the book.

The writing is polished and the story is reasonably entertaining as a form of alternate history, especially if you are interested in British history, but as for a zombie story, I could take it or leave it. There was not enough of a sense of ominous forboding throughout the story that I really look forward to from a undead tale to make it something that really draws me in. Perhaps another reader will find it to be a more intriguing tale than I did.
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