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It's the end of the world as we know it!
on 21 November 2013
There really should be a law against toying with the fabric of spacetime and jeopardising the very nature of reality. When the scientists at a Top Secret underground facility in the Appalachian mountains do just that, you know beyond a shadow of doubt that it will all end in tears... well, in a zombie apocalypse, to be more accurate.
The market seems to be awash with zombie fiction at the moment. The reading public's taste for vampires and werewolves appears to be waning somewhat (thank goodness), but you can't swing a chainsaw in your local bookshop without hitting a new zombapoc offering. I can't claim to be any sort of expert in the genre but, like all literary phenomena, there are good and bad entrants to the competition.
Coldbrook ranks among the good, I am pleased to report. There may be better out there (I have a few more of the type on my Kindle awaiting my attention, so I shall report back eventually) but there are definitely many worse. Faint praise? Not really. It ain't literature, but Lebbon writes a tidy, strong and technically accomplished story and populates it with a cast of diverse, believable and sympathetic characters. There's nothing particularly original to the story itself and many or all of the plot elements will be familiar to readers of sci-fi, horror, fantasy and of course zombiefic. However, Lebbon makes effective use of his well-stocked sci-fi toolbox to construct an interesting narrative. There is a slight disconnect as Lebbon, a Brit, puts a Welshman as one of the main protagonists into an American setting. It's not a big killer, but Brits should very careful when writing novels about America and Americans, just as Yank novellists should be careful when writing about Brits and Britain.
Good fun, well written and easy to read. Recommended.