Pages: 816 pages
ISBN: 978-1-78108-160-0

Storyline: B-

Artwork: A

The ‘Tomes of the Dead’ series is known for putting a fresh twist on the zombie genre, giving readers the utterly gruesome, flesh decaying, mindlessly moaning horrors of their nightmares by exploring this garish world in a whole new way. And in volume three of the ‘Best of Tomes of the Dead’ series, namely ‘The Secret Zombie History of the World’, the reader is given three different historical tales of what it would have been like through different eras had the dead walked the earth.

The first tale, entitled ‘Viking Dead’ and written by Toby Venables, is set in Northern Europe in 976 AD and concerns itself with a Viking crew whose simple raid turns into a battle for their lives as they not only discover a ominous castle with a secret, but also need to battle the dead who return as ‘draugr’ to feed on the living.

‘Stronghold’ by Paul Finch takes place in Britain in 1295 AD and tells the tale of a young English knight named ‘Ranulf’ who joins the army which is led by the brutal Corotocus la Hors, to help subdue Welsh rebels. Corotocus’ unchecked cruelty forces a druid sect to summon an army of the undead bent on vengeance and the once unassailable fortress of Grogen, now the stronghold of Corotocus’ army, no longer seems impregnable.

The third tale in this secret zombie history is entitled ‘Death Hulk’ (and written by Matthew Sprange), regales readers with the story of Captain Havelock and his crew. Set during the 1820’s on the cusp of Englands’ war with France, it follows the crew of the HMS Whirlwind on her mission to intercept the French frigate Elita who has been terrorising British ships around the coast of The Cape of Good Hope. However, the ships are not alone on the seas and an enemy from the Captain’s past resurfaces from the oceanic abyss.

Some may feel that reading three zombie tales after each other can become monotonous. However, this is not the case with ‘The Secret Zombie History of the World’. All three authors manage to weave a gruesome tale set within three very different eras and each story is laced with its own intricacies and surprises. Each author has succeeded in taking historic events from the past and incorporated foul ghouls in such a way as to make the reader believe that this truly is a ‘secret zombie history of the world’.

This volume three of the ‘Best of Tomes of the Dead’ series will be available for purchase from 10 December 2013.

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