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on 2 October 2007
i found this not quite to be the book i thought it was, still looking for the on which centres more on how government falls ect, however this book has several refreshing twists and turns that i didnt see coming at all,only bit i found rather confusing was the epilogue, the only thing i found slightly annoying was the dubious title, however, definitely worth a read...
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on 9 August 2007
For some time now I have been searching for a good entertaining zombie story - with this book I finally found it.

All the zombie novels being written now seem to lean towards the undead evolving into a new race of thinking sometimes logical monsters. The difference with this book is that it gives a logical and believable reason for the 'deadheads' or 'pusbags'(which is my favourite term)learning to evolve.

I won't give away any spoilers but this book infuses both a horror element very similar to 28 Days Later and a gangster novel. The book reads exactly how I would expect civilisation to disintegrate back into the stone age if it ever became more than fiction.

However that is exactly what the book is and it is important to remember that when reading the story. Having read Brian Keene's The Rising and The City of the Dead it was difficult to convince myself that Zombies are anything more than a rotting bag of bones. However and in David Wellington's Monster Island the Zombie genre is taking on a new slant were the undead are now more than mindless monsters, they are a new species.

The story had horror, action and likeable characters (alive and undead).
It starts right in the thick of the zombie action introducing you to the important characters. The second part of the book takes you back five years to how it all started and develops the characters and their personalities. The third part was a surprise and a pleasant one and for me it further develops the central character.

The only critiscm of the book was it was too short. I would have liked more of the underworld/gangster story.

I would recommend this book very highly for a weekend of gore.
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on 26 November 2008
The previous reviewers have said most of important things about this book already. It's essentially a zombie novel and if you're reading this then you probably have a good idea what to expect. The interesting parts of the story feature the London gangster story that evolves against the backdrop of the zombie epidemic, with some interesting characters and a bit more to the story than people just trying to survive.

I had a problem with three main aspects of the book. Firstly, the prologue and epilogue didn't seem relevant to the main story (and I didn't even understand what the epilogue was about). Secondly, the story jumps around in time, as discussed by other reviewers. Although there's nothing really wrong with this, I don't see why the story couldn't be told in chronological order. Finally, I don't personally like 'intelligent' zombies. I think that zombies should be the 'Pittsburgh' style undead from the original stories (like George A Romero's earlier films) and when they evolve to talk, use tools etc I just find it annoying. Of course, that's personal taste and some people might find it interesting.

In summary, this is a pretty good zombie-based tale and if you're a fan then you'll probably enjoy it. This isn't the best example in the genre but there are certainly worse books out there and it feels closer to home for readers in the UK (which I guess you probably are if you're reading this).
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on 7 August 2007
This book made a refreshing change from the usual 'genre' stories, and yet still had all the necessary ingredients to keep Zombie fans happy. A new angle, and plenty of twists and turns kept the plot going, and the characters were well drawn and believeable, even to the point of sympathy for a zombie!
If you only read one new zombie book this time, make it this one.
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on 8 October 2007
I must admit i am a bit of a zombieholic, i read about a dozen of these books each year and i must say i think this is the best one this year. Its well written and you certainly feel a lot of empathy for the characters and that includes some of the zombies! The story moves along at a great pace and is a definate page turner, you will not be disappionted (except maybe for the strange title)
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on 10 July 2007
I expected this to be the usual zombie book- a plot ripped from one of the many films out there slightly rehashed, or an over-imaginative rewriting of the mythos where zombies evolve and etc etc...

Well actually there is some of the second cliché in this, but it is much better handled than in most zombie books. The plot is original and very captivating, with characters who have a bit more life than the usual cardboard stereotypes. I particularly liked the way the book is split into 3 sections which link in and around each other.

I'd very much recommend this to genre fans- its original, well written and entertaining. The London environment is also very well managed- this isnt a 'oh theres a double decker bus so we're in London' set up for yank tourists, this is the London we know and hate.
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VINE VOICEon 7 September 2007
First and foremost, thanks to the nice people at Abaddon, for sending me a box full of what seems to be their entire back catalogue of books. Nice!

When a top-secret, Government Military Research Lab creates an infection that can bring the recently deceased back to life (the perfect soldiers) they have no idea of the side-effects... or trouble, that it is going to cause...

Soon, all over England, the dead are awakening, and, well... consuming the living.

For some, this is promised Armageddon. For others, this is an opportunity to rule unopposed. One of those men is Harry Flowers, gang lord and ruthless tyrant. Gathering around him the best of what's left: body guards, soldiers, scientists, etc, he seeks a way to control the zombies, to control the country.

I really liked the way some things were done in this book, adding new twists and turns to the zombie legend. The idea of a Government research lab, creating an infection, etc, etc, is fairly cliché , but the rest of the book does its best to be original.

One of the ideas--certain zombies being cleverer than the rest of the shambling hordes, and developing the same emotions and ways of thinking as they had when they were human, was, I thought, brilliant. It was great to also see interaction between characters that had been human and were now zombie. But, I tread close to Spoiler...

There were several interesting developments that had been set up right from the beginning, but, in most cases, I didn't see them coming. Matthew Smith has a talent for keeping people guessing.

I seem to be suddenly getting very fussy over endings, though, because it seemed to me, that the last chapter added nothing to the story, and it existed only to give some relevance to the book's title.

One of a few flaws in an otherwise excellent book. The Words of their Roaring is one of the best-written zombie books I've read. 8 out of 10.

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on 12 March 2008
In my previous reviews of zombie novels, I have stated that I bought a whole host of un-dead novels in some bizarre desire to read some real zombie nosh entertainment, an escape from reading about the history of the Roman Empire, Warhammer and other post apocalyptic fiction that I love so much. And if I am honest with the reader of this review, this book is currently top of my Zombie hit list.

If your like me, and you appreciate this type of flesh eating, monster distraction then I think your going to really enjoy this book. I loved this book from start to finish. OK, so it is not as graphic as Keene's The Rising series, and not quite as in depth as Wellington's Nation series, but maybe that what made it more enjoyable, leaving the reader to imagine in their own mind any un-detailed event.

The book is mainly set in three - Pulp Fiction like - time periods of the zombie apocalypse. Now - The un-dead owning London and the survivors banding together in gangster-like clans. Five Years Earlier - The zombie outbreak. And fifteen years later - The intelligent dead taking over from their lesser intelligent brethren, with slushy, lovey-dovey ending !

Our lead character in this novel is Gabe, chauffer, gangster lackey and eventual highly intelligent zombie, hitting back at his London gangster-like boss after issuing a death warrant after his capture by the last remaining elements of the British military. The love interest being the gangsters daughter who Gabe falls in love with in life, and whose feelings it appear seem to continue into death !

I do not really like the idea of the dead becoming able to ride cars, talk, fire guns, create abattoirs (this being the most extremely graphic part of the book) and organise hoards of their lesser intelligent cousins. It seems to be the norm these days in zombie lore - but in this book it made perfect sense and actually made the book that much more readable. If anything the distaste that the intelligent zombies showed their lesser dead comrades was even comical at times.

I think that UK readers of this book will enjoy it far more than our cousins across the pond in the USA, because the story is set in London, and many people like myself will be able to picture panic ridden London after trips to the city in younger years ! But I do urge anyone outside of the UK to give this book a read - you will not be disappointed.

The only couple things of that that I did not really appreciate in this book, was the majority of the intelligent zombies all seemed to be members of the gangster elite and the epilogue. I'm not sure the book needed the epilogue and I'm not really sure where the author was going with it. But it is only 3 pages in an otherwise superb novel. Loved it Mr Smith - five out of five !

I'll certainly read more of the Tomes Of The Dead series, and will definitely look out for more fiction by this author.
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on 15 October 2010
Basically this is a zombie novel with a twist it will either appeal to you or not but the way the book is structured it actually does work.
Being a big zombie fan i have read most books of this genre and i must say that this is a good book and if you are a fan then give it a go as you will not be disappointed,
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on 30 October 2014
Was ok, nothing special
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