Reviews

Thanks to all the reviewers who have contributed. I’ll be adding to this from time to time, so do check back…

VIKING+DEADThe Viking Dead

“Just to be clear, The Viking Dead is about Vikings… fighting zombies. And, just to be completely clear, it is awesome … Pure, unadulterated, ludicrous fun.” – Jared Shurin pornokitsch.com http://www.pornokitsch.com

“Overall it’s pretty much an action packed, plot driven affair, with our Viking heroes given an admirable dimension in spite of their marauding ways by virtue of having to fight something far worse. As far as all that goes, Venables doesn’t miss a trick, pitching his dramatis personae from one frying pan into another fire with commendable zeal, and throwing a vividly realised assortment of threats at the page – zombies, Vikings, berserkers, traitors, flesh eating insects, a darkly brooding forest, and then something even worse than all of that … Each character is well drawn, with signifiers that help to make him real to the reader and give us reasons to care when the shit hits the fan, as it inevitably does … and kudos to Venables for giving us such a fully rounded nemesis for his heroes.” – Peter Tennant, Black Static 25, Nov 2011

“A fantastic mix of history, violence and horror … Anyone looking for twisted historical fiction is advised to go grab a copy … You won’t be disappointed.” – Chris Winterton UN:BOUND http://hagelrat.blogspot.com

“Fans of the undead and the gory hack and slash combat are going to love this new addition from Abaddon as the undead rise to shamble along against the sea wolves in this outing from the imagination from Toby Venables. It’s well written, the characters are battle hardened but perhaps not quite expecting exactly what happens within. Add to this a well thought out story arc, great prose and more than a few twists for the reader to get their teeth into and you know that it is going to be something different to a lot of the titles out there. All in, this book was a lot of fun to read and whilst some of the more modern set titles within the Tomes of the Dead series go for thought provoking, this one is unashamedly a battle to the death against the undead hordes as the Raiders may well find that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. Great fun.” – (4 out of 5 stars) Gareth Wilson, Falcata Times

“The only negative I have regarding Viking Dead is that I don’t know if there will be a second part. I will be most upset if there won’t be another book. Or two … Viking Dead charges with berserker fury straight to the top of my Best of 2011 list.” – iwillreadbooks http://www.iwillreadbooks.com

“Vikings and Zombies, not the usual mix and I don’t think i’ve ever seen those two combined – it’s what piqued my interest enough to review the novel, and I really wasn’t disappointed. What immediately grips you as you read this book is the way the author has managed to convey a strong historical feeling to the prose, the book reads just how you would imagine a real viking raiding party would behave and everything feels accurate and has a distinct level of grim reality. This has the advantage of heightening the zombie side of the story so much that you share the fear, revulsion and disgust against this undead plague.

“The action scenes are very well described and while sufficiently gory are not as frequent as you might expect, the book relies more on the underlying menace and description of viking life. The characters on the other hand are very much like you would expect from a bunch of vikings, warriors to the core with an almost fearless frame of mind where only the fittest survive – get too fat or lazy and it will most likely result in your death. The raiding party is a very well organised and close knit band and this is used to great effect with the cleverly choreographed fights.

“The story itself is told from a number of different viewpoints – using the device of showing the raiders from an outsiders viewpoint for a large part of the book which allows the reader to learn as the outsider does. This all weaves together to become a fast moving, energetic and rewarding tale. I love the fact that the Zombie are an unknown element (very different from the modern zombie story) – though rooted in Norse mythology and the underplayed world-building and minimal backstory (except for a couple of flashbacks) mean that the pace remains pretty swift. The ending is quite unexpected (or at least was for me) but it does nonetheless work well and I have no hesitation in recommending this novel.” – Anthony, SF Book Reviews http://sfbook.com/viking-dead.htm

“While I’ve not gone in much for the current zombie craze, that might start changing, especially if I can find more stuff that’s this well written. For a first novel, Toby Venables sets himself a hard act to follow … Toby Venables will have a bright future ahead of him if he continues to write like this.” – Keith West, Adventures Fantastic http://adventuresfantastic.blogspot.com

“The best part of this book, and there are a number of them, is that the characters are human. Bjolf and his crew are actually human; if we were there, these guys would most likely be among our friends. For horror, this works well as we don’t want anything to happen to these characters and yet we are forced to watch as their numbers dwindle. As the story escalates, the horror creeps in as bad things happen, and you can’t do anything about it. This is not a book for those late-night reads by yourself, even though you will be tempted.” – Jamais Jochim, Sacramento Book Review / San Francisco Book Review http://sacramentobookreview.com http://www.sanfranciscobookreview.com

“Venables’ style is unfussy and direct. As straight, true and direct as a Viking axe blade.” – Ian Pickens, Mass Movement Magazine http://www.massmovement.co.uk

“This could have turned into a sly authorial joke on the characters, and I just hate that sort of thing. I didn’t join this quest in order to laugh up my sleeve at the characters, I joined in order to accompany them wherever they went. Fortunately, Venables knows that. He also knows that his characters are pretty bright, and lets them figure out the general situation on their own, even if they’re vague on the details. The resolution was grimdark and almost hopeless, but I could live with it. Hell, there’s even a touching moment which I’m sure is a shoutout to Shaun of the Dead. In conclusion: good Vikings, good zombies, a rollercoaster plot, and Toby Venables is an author to watch.” – teenybuffalo http://teenybuffalo.livejournal.com

“Fans of zombies will love it, fans of Vikings will love it and fans of Vikings and zombies, well prepare yourself for Valhalla … A fun, fast-paced, blood soaked adventure.” – Colin, Black Abyss http://www.blackabyss.co.uk

 

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