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4.5 out of 5 stars
4
Infernal Game, The: Cold Warriors
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£4.26+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 12 May 2010
Cold Warriors is the first volume in a new series from Rebecca Levene.

Combining Cold War espionage with the occult [note: two of my favorite topics, so sort of a 'can't miss'], it features two of the unlikeliest heroes in the genre. Morgan is South London army grunt - a talented marksman, but a terrible partner. His squad mates keep dying - often in incredibly horrific and unusual ways. His reputation as a "jinx" isn't a particularly fun one, but then a very, VERY secret corner of the government finds the solution... he's paired with a zombie.

Tomas is an old school spy. Killed as part of an early experiment into the occult, he's been brought back from the dead to fulfill his original mission. As a zombie (and, frankly, one of the best, freshest takes on the walking dead I've read in a long time), he's the perfect agent. Hard to shoot, impossible to poison. Sure, he's got the occasional hankering for human flesh, but the government has probably overlooked a lot worse...

Morgan and Tomas are sent off on a wild chase around Europe in search of a set of elusive relics that may or may not bring about the Apocalypse. While Morgan is slowly indoctrinated into the "real" (supernatural) world, Tomas struggles to accept the new, post-Communism political landscape. Fortunately, the two of them have plenty of bad guys upon which to take out their angst.

My normal word for pulp action is "romp", and this is certainly a good one - fast-paced, entertaining and absorbing. I kept missing my tube stop while reading Cold Warriors (this book owes me an Oyster card top-up). But, more than the entertainment value, this is proper horror: a few of the scenes are terrifying. An action sequence in an underground cathedral is breath-taking, and a bizarre fight scene involving... fish... is a genuinely disturbing moment.

Highly recommended and immensely eager for the sequel (not sure how the author will top the ending of Cold Warriors, but look forward to seeing the attempt).
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on 26 April 2010
Cold Warriors is the first volume in a very promising new series from Rebecca Levene.

Combining Cold War espionage with the occult [note: two of my favorite topics, so sort of a 'can't miss'], it features two of the unlikeliest heroes in the genre. Morgan is South London army grunt - a talented marksman, but a terrible partner. His squad mates keep dying - often in incredibly horrific and unusual ways. His reputation as a "jinx" isn't a particularly fun one, but then a very, VERY secret corner of the government finds the solution... he's paired with a zombie.

Tomas is an old school spy. Killed as part of an early experiment into the occult, he's been brought back from the dead to fulfill his original mission. As a zombie (and, frankly, one of the best, freshest takes on the walking dead I've read in a long time), he's the perfect agent. Hard to shoot, impossible to poison. Sure, he's got the occasional hankering for human flesh, but the government has probably overlooked a lot worse...

Morgan and Tomas are sent off on a wild chase around Europe in search of a set of elusive relics that may or may not bring about the Apocalypse. While Morgan is slowly indoctrinated into the "real" (supernatural) world, Tomas struggles to accept the new, post-Communism political landscape. Fortunately, the two of them have plenty of bad guys upon which to take out their angst.

My normal word for pulp action is "romp", and this is certainly a good one - fast-paced, entertaining and absorbing. I kept missing my tube stop while reading Cold Warriors (this book owes me an Oyster card top-up). But, more than the entertainment value, this is proper horror: a few of the scenes are terrifying. An action sequence in an underground cathedral is breath-taking, and a bizarre fight scene involving... fish... is a genuinely disturbing moment.

Highly recommended and immensely eager for the sequel (not sure how the author will top the ending of Cold Warriors, but look forward to seeing the attempt).
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VINE VOICEon 5 April 2010
I always love it when an author kicks off a brand new series for an established publisher, there's nothing out there that they have to measure their work by so whilst the pressure is lessened to a greater degree they have full carte blanche to unleash their imagination within the pages. Here in this offering from Rebecca Levene is a series that lives up to the best of Urban Fantasy whilst setting it in an MI5 cold war style thriller. It's a great setting, it's got a lot of scope for follow up tales but perhaps best of all its the characters that really come alive to the reader. Rebecca has a great style, a good understanding of pace but best of all she knows how to lead the reader to the mindset most condusive to getting the tale across.
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on 24 May 2010
An exciting, action-packed tense spy thriller with lashings of zombies, ghosts, Devil worship, salt cathedrals, train carriages and exotic locations.
Cold Warriors - the first in a new series - is a cross between Ian Fleming and Stephen King.
Packed with well-written, tense action sequences and some excellent moments of horror (the scene when ordinary pet dogs turn into savage killers is pretty grisly), it's a real page turner.
Rebecca Levene's style is sparse and tense, but there's also room for character.
I read it in two sittings and can't wait for the second in the series.
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