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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
Found this book really interesting, engaging and happy it was a stand alone novel and not part of a series. The science fiction (or is it?) linked with the zombie action was cool and a something not done since Brian Keene's 'The Rising'. Well worth a look.
Published 16 months ago by moddyman123

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read...
I'm a big fan of Tim Lebbon - Echo City and Heretic Land are two excellent fantasy novels that are both wonderfully inventive and offer a new approach in an overly saturated genre. Coldbrook is no different. At first glance a run-of-the-mill Zom-pocalypse novel but delve a little deeper and you'll discover a whole host of fresh ideas to sink your teeth into (ahem)...
Published 8 months ago by Gazmatron


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, 3 April 2013
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This review is from: Coldbrook (Hammer) (Kindle Edition)
Found this book really interesting, engaging and happy it was a stand alone novel and not part of a series. The science fiction (or is it?) linked with the zombie action was cool and a something not done since Brian Keene's 'The Rising'. Well worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 23 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Coldbrook (Hammer) (Kindle Edition)
Well worth reading, for any zombie/post-apocalyptic fan....the usual good story from Tim Lebbon. Hopefully a sequal to follow? Let's hope so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inventive and thrilling, 22 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Coldbrook (Hammer) (Paperback)
Coldbrook is a seamless blend of science fiction and horror that for the most part works brilliantly (I had a couple of niggles, but nothing that detracted too much from the story). A group of scientists lift the lid on a Pandora's box when they open a gateway to a parallel universe, but what comes through is not what they are expecting.

The characters in the novel are brought to life on the page, and they become people you root for and care about as they try to cope with the end of the world as we know it. They seem like very real people trying to manage with a very unreal situation. This is an inventive and thrilling addition to the shambling zombie genre, and it goes to show that there are still some authors out there who can push the boundaries and take it to the next level.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and well written zombie novel, 12 Oct 2012
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coldbrook (Hammer) (Paperback)
Author Tim Lebbon has been on my radar for a while, I keep hearing good things about his books. I was therefore delighted to be provided with a review copy of Coldbrook and further interested to realise it was branded with the old Hammer (horror) branding.

Coldbrook is a scientific facility where scientists have created a breach into a parallel Earth and are studying what they can see through their limited opening. This is a zombie/apocalypse novel, so as you might suspect, something nasty lumbers through the portal and creates havoc in our earth. It would be easy to dismiss this as a typical guts and gore novel, but that would be wrong, this is an intelligent and thoughtful novel. With zombies.

Tim Lebbon blends horror, science fiction and strong characterisation to provide a long and very entertaining novel. No Special Forces heroes here, no running gun battles with lurching zombies, but real people acting like real people. We have the elderly scientist still at Coldbrook, we have the guy who ran away (and let the contagion out of Coldbrook) and tries to redeem himself, we have the scientist who escapes into the portal only to find what seemed idyllic, isn't! And we have the potential saviour who is hampered by a debilitating illness. So, real people in a nasty world and it works very well.

All that would have worked brilliantly on its own, but the author throws in a curve ball, an evil presence that ups the ante even more.

Really enjoyed this and it appears that Mr Lebbon's reputation is well deserved and I need to be digging into his back catalogue. Recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must-read for zombie & Stephen King lovers, 6 Feb 2013
This review is from: Coldbrook (Hammer) (Paperback)
I've read a few zombie books, they frighten me in the same sort of way that roller-coasters do - I enjoy it but shake like a fool for twenty minutes afterwards and have the occasional issue with walking to the toilet on my own in the night for a couple of days.

Coldbrook blew them all out of the water.

As far as zombies go, Lebbon created the scariest ones I have encountered. Which is impressive because until now I would have replied to a statement like that with 'but surely a zombie is just a zombie?' Apparently not.

Combining quantum physics and multi-universe discoveries with Stephen King-esque road-trip horror, Coldbrook takes you on a journey across an America ravaged by something from another world.

There's plenty of stereotypical 'shoot the zombies in the head' action mixed in with loyalty and love and bucket loads of desperation when there's a whisper of the word 'immunity'.

I liked the ferocity of love in the book, sometimes it is easy for horror novels to fall into the trap of killing everyone off apart from maybe one character, and I always find those a bit numbing - by the end I really don't care - but Coldbrook doesn't do that. There is the love of friendship, family and illicit affairs running through the story, buoying you through the gore and terror of it all and stopping it from becoming too mindless - there was a reason for all the destruction you witness through the character's eyes. (Admittedly though, if Vic had called his daughter 'beautiful' one more time I may have screamed. I understand the contrast of innocent child versus relentless death-bringing zombie hoard but, seriously, there are other words than 'beautiful'.)

Possibly the scariest thing about Coldbrook was the human-ness of it. The story may be stretched across worlds but the heart of it all was something very human and scary - the reactions of the world and the mystery at the very centre of all the madness came down to things that were hauntingly easy to believe. Humans are very scary creatures.

Coldbrook scared me witless and made me cry but for all that, there was just something not quite right that I couldn't put my finger on. Partly I felt it was trying a bit hard to be a Stephen King novel - there were a few references dotted throughout, Lebbon clearly holds him in high regard - and because of that bit of it felt almost forced. I probably couldn't go back and tell you which bits, it was just a feeling I got that sometimes dragged me out of the action. Also, I think there was a slight juxtaposition where the characters all felt a bit too 'British' for a book set in America - something subconsciously off about their mannerisms - I've found it before, though more often in books written by American authors, set in England.

If you like zombies, shotguns, multi-universe theology or being scared witless I would recommend picking up a copy of this.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full-on Apocalyptic Fiction, 11 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Coldbrook (Hammer) (Paperback)
Unfortunately for the rest of humanity, there are some, most notably those pesky scientific types, who continue to be a spectacularly inquisitive bunch. Have they learned nothing from watching cats and their innate sense of curiosity? Based on the events that occur in Coldbrook the answer is a resounding no. It seems that as a race we just can't help ourselves, we will go out of our way to fiddle with things that are best left alone. Coldbrook by Tim Lebbon is the latest novel from Hammer and is a rather wonderful horror/sci-fi mash-up that explores everything from atheism and religion through to zombies via a good old dollop of multiverse theory.

"Six hours after forging a pathway from his own reality to another, Jonah Jones closed his eyes to dream. But he doubted that sleep would come."

There are a host of characters that I really enjoyed, some sadly feature all too briefly (don't worry I won't say who, that would spoil the surprise), but the most interesting from my perspective was Jonah Jones. His journey, both physically and psychologically, was utterly engrossing. A pivotal member of the team at the research facility, he is destined to travel further and discover more than anyone else. It was a surprise to learn that a seventy six year old widower could be an action hero.

The other character that stood out for me was Jonah's colleague, Vic. Driven by a desire to protect his family, he will do anything in his power to keep them safe. This single-mindedness leads Vic to make some epically poor decisions and he spends the rest of the novel trying to atone for his mistakes. There is something quite gratifying about watching someone attempting to seek redemption. I think a flawed character is often far more interesting to follow than a perfect one.

When it comes to apocalyptic fiction I'm always impressed when an author manages to push the boundaries. You would think that the end of the Earth would be bad enough? Not at all. Mr. Lebbon takes the reader one step beyond, the end of all Earths. Yes people, we're taking the zombie threat to parallel universes. This is the point where my brain started to melt in the most splendid of ways. Once we are firmly into the realms of multiple visions of Earth, the author also casually tosses in the concept of an infinite never-ending evil. Needless to say by then, my tiny little mind was well and truly blown.

The science fiction elements of this story blend well with the horrific. The reader follows characters travelling from our Earth to other worlds. What follows is race against time to find a cure and halt the spread of the contagion. Imagine Stargate with a dark heart and you're about half way there.

I've got to be honest here and admit that I've never read any of Tim Lebbon's other novels. I had no notion of what to expect when I cracked this open at page one but I'm glad to say I was very impressed. I've read a lot of apocalyptic fiction and Coldbrook is right up there with the best. I'm always on the lookout for a fresh interpretation of the end of the world, and with this novel I think I may have just found it. All we need to do now is find a movie company who are willing to bring this striking vision to life on the big screen. Does anyone know any?
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's the end of the world as we know it!, 21 Nov 2013
By 
Crookedmouth ":-/" (As seen on iPlayer) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coldbrook (Hammer) (Kindle Edition)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars scary, 3 Oct 2013
By 
Sallyanne Rowe "sallyanne rowe" (gloucester uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coldbrook (Hammer) (Paperback)
very wellwritten not what you expect no strero types very very scary you fear something like this could happen i hope it dont a good read not at night though
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Zombie novel, if somewhat confusing...., 14 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Coldbrook (Hammer) (Paperback)
There are a lot of similarities with Patrick Lee's The Breach Trilogy. Scientists create a portal into another universe and it all goes badly wrong. In Lee's books the portal delivers strange artifacts with various powers, in Lebbon's breach it brings, well....Zombies. There is also a lot of similarities with Terry Pratchett's new series "The Long Earth" which deals with the discovery of multiple Earths.

The novel mainly relates the stories of various scientists from the Coldbrook "Institute" and how they deal with the Zombie outbreak, but they intertwine well with other characters, and this is all well written and gripping. There are some brilliant and exciting set pieces all in the great zombie and Sci Fi tradition.

There are some criticisms though, the actual purpose of Coldbrook, to find other multiple universes is in itself fine science fiction, I just found the link between that premise and a Zombie outbreak to be a bit convoluted. I have to admit that I found it difficult to work out who actually created the zombies, in what alternative universe and why? The ending was also quite confusing, that some apocalyptic church (Catholic??) created zombies to eradicate humans from al multiple earths....am I right, I'm not sure?

Anyhow, it won't stop me reading Lebbon's other books now I've read this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Zombie/Apocalypse novel worth reading, 17 July 2013
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This review is from: Coldbrook (Hammer) (Paperback)
First of all despite the number of pages this is a very quick book to read, it has a large font and I ploughed through it in a few days. Tm Lebbon is a clear writer he is very easy to read and the book moves at a swift pace.

Moving on to the story, it isn't a bad mix of a classic zombie apocalypse with a multi-universe sci-fi plot. It is nothing particularly unique and is best described as a B-Movie made into a novel and that is not a bad thing.

It is not particularly taxing, and the multi-verse story line could have got particularly convoluted but Lebbon has avoided this maybe giving scope to explore further in a sequel.

If you enjoyed the first 200 pages of The Passage for example and thought the rest was rubbish, or enjoyed The Stand or Swan Song then this book is for you. If you have never heard of those novels then go and read them first (apart from the The Passage as it is rubbish)...!
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Coldbrook (Hammer) by Tim Lebbon
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