Kings of the Dead Paperback – Apr 12 2011
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
makes you stick to whole numbers and I don't feel comfortable with the
4, so 3 it is.
The book is a good read, but a fast one. I finished the book over the
course of a few evenings.
Kings of the Dead, as other reviews have stated, is a journal style
novel written by the main character for the most part. Telling the
tale of an undead rising from the point of view of one person. I do
enjoy this type of reading, I am a fan of Day by Day Armaggeddon by
J.L. Bourne, so I was really looking forward to reading this.
The story grabbed me right away and was interested in following this
group of survivors in the land of the dead. Several of the characters
stood out and I enjoyed following them.
As for the zombies, the story started off with the classic
Romero-style zombie shambling around. Later, faster and stronger
zombies were introduced in a very clever and believable way -
something very refreshing in zombiedom books.
There were also some very strong curve balls to the story that I did
not see coming and applaud the author for these risks he took with the
There were a couple of issues that I did have with the story. First
off was the sheer number of characters in the first half of the book.
It was difficult to keep all their stories straight and which
characters were performing which tasks.
Second was the journal format itself. It was difficult to know
exactly how much time had passed between each journal entry. It would
have been nice if the entries were dated or time stamped in some way.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book from this first time author and I'm
really looking forward to more from Tony in the future.
Kings of the Dead is written in a first person narrative. The main character, played by Tony, keeps a journal of his experiences during a post apocalyptic world. The story takes place at a time not so long ago. Mid to late 2009 the Hemagglutinin Neuraminidase virus better known as H1N1 or Swine Flu is causing panic around the world. A vaccine is created but before they can inoculate those infected, the vaccine mutated into something no one expected. Those who received the vaccine expired and returned to life seeking the flesh of the living. One by one the infection spreads, turning most of the world's population into the living dead.
The story revolves around Tony and a group of survivors, which includes Heather, (Tony's wife), Derek and Bren (from the popular zombie podcast Mail Order Zombie '[...]
With the living dead around every corner and the insane survivors that have turned to cannibalism lurking, nowhere is safe. Tony records their travels in his journal. He not only teaches you how to survive a world ruled by the undead but he also teaches you about the human factor. Every journal entry is another lesson in survival till the end. If you want to know what fate has in store for the survivors you'll have to pick up a copy.
Like I said before my friendship with Tony will not get involved in this review. I can say that I honestly enjoyed this book very much. Every journal entry was very entertaining and had me wanting more form the writer. The journal entries gave me just enough information to keep my interest but also held back enough to have me begging for more. I noticed this a lot while reading the book. This is a strong point that Tony has and I hope he continues that form of writing in his upcoming work. Tony's knowledge of survival and weaponry is noticeable and he explains everything with confidence. When he mentions weapons I know he is 100% accurate on the information he has given me. I didn't have a clue what some of the weapons he mentioned were but once he explained it I had a mental idea. He does explain the surroundings well.
Even though the story was very entertaining it does have some flaws. This is Tony's first book so there are a lot of rookie mistakes. There are a few misspellings and I counted a couple of run on sentences. But of course, it's nothing major, we all do it. I have a 1st edition copy; Tony has corrected some of these misspellings for the 2nd edition. The flow of the story could have flowed better, as it was hard to keep a mental time frame. That may have been intentional but as a reviewer I need to have that time frame to keep up. The story felt too rushed, like Tony was in a hurry to write. The character is living the story but I am not, the story teller needs to have his readers feel like they're in the story. I didn't like the journal entries being speared out as they were. Like I said it may have been intentional to give the story a hint of realism. The protagonist may have only been writing in the journal for himself, not knowing others would read it. But that's the problem, others are reading it. Also, the size of the book is very misleading. The book is much shorter then it looks, much, much shorter.
Now that I have explained everything I liked and everything I didn't like I'll have to put it all together. I did enjoy the story very much. All the twists and all the drama that are nestled into these pages are a wonderful touch. I did feel for the characters as they lived their day to day life. However the flow of the story did upset me. I disliked the journal entries sometimes being days, weeks, or months apart. I'm sure it was to move the story along but I want to know what happened during the days there were no journal entries. I will have to give Kings of the Dead 4 Undead Heads out of 5.
The main character comes to life on the page, as he should if we are to believe he is the one writing the story. The journal itself becomes part of the story. This is not just page after page of "we ran from zombies, we killed zombies, now we're hiding here and I'm writing about it." Sometimes the diary is neglected for weeks at a time. Sometimes the main character does not feel like writing in it (or can't) and the other characters pick up the slack for him. As more and more time passes, they even start to forget what day it is. This is as effective and believable as one can make this challenging story format.
I finished it in less than 24 hours because I found it so captivating. Very well done and I highly recommend it.
I love reading zombie novels by authors who pay attention to what the zombiephiles discuss in the realm of "What If," but when the characters are so well-prepared as Faville's, it makes for a slightly boring apocalypse scenario. The first two dozen pages didn't have much action, so I began to resent Cole for rambling about how awesome his survival group was, until he mentioned they came across some zombies that were running just as fast the survivors. In the beginning, he had made it a point to say that they were shamblers - great hook by the author, but I felt like it took too many pages to get there.
Over a few months time, Cole's group has to move their location, one of their members is displaying unusual behavior even though he does not appear to be infected, and they have reason to believe the military is actively using chemical warfare in an attempt to stop the zombie hordes. What begins as a slow trickle soon gushes into some gut-wrenching gore, and suspenseful battle scenes.
Faville has created an interesting balance between the struggle for survival, and the desire for a "normal" life, with elements of deviancy such as cannibalism. The story is filled with twists and turns, and his imagery ranges from breath-taking to repulsive. None of the gore was overdone, as is the case in some novels where it's tossed in just to shock the reader. Slow to advance, the story does evolve into a more familiar horror thriller, complete with complex character relationships, and a bloody payoff for patient readers. (And, I LOVED the reference to "The Postman.")
I'm giving Kings of the Dead by Tony Faville the full five stars, with the warning that I am only giving him four stars the next time he writes another sluggish beginning in a novel. ;p
You also tap into the human psyche and it really goes to show when the people who are mentally defective get off their meds in mass numbers or when sadistic thinking people who are just hiding out pretending to live in the real world as a normal person because fear of law and incarceration, but once the government fully collapses what's to stop these madmen from living their lives the way they want to live???
without spoiling much this book has one of the most INSANELY Awesome endings of epic proportion rarely seen in the Zombie Survival genre. Cole is one of the best protagonists I've followed in the permuted lineup. Up there with JL Bourne and Craig DiLouie I would not pass this book up..
And a message to Tony Faville! You have earned a new fan for life and I hope this review will open doors for more members to follow.
When the ZPAW Happens i'll cya.. i'll remember to bring some MREs