Closure Limited and Other Zombie Tales – Max Brooks

Closure Limited and Other Zombie Tales by Max Brooks. Alternate cover.Coming in at a baby 124 pages, Max Brook’s collection of four short stories continues on from the amazing World War Z. It took me a while to pick up a copy of this, only because it was initially retailing at around $20 at my local bookstore and I couldn’t justify spending that much on a tiny book, even if its predecessor is one of my all time favourite novels.

I came to this with pretty high expectations. Of the four stories, I most enjoyed ‘The Extinction Parade’, by far the longest in the book, where Brooks adds vampires to his undead legions. I really liked the way he built their community and that it could be read as inhabiting the same world as World War Z or another one entirely.

‘Closure Limited’ and ‘Great Wall’ both fit well with his previous novel and are enjoyable reads but ‘Steve and Fred’ left me cold. It just felt like a bit of a nothing story to me, more of a place filler. It contrasts the thrilling ‘fictional’ world of zombies and the harsh ‘reality’ of Brook’s universe but there’s no pay off (which, to be fair, might be the point).

All in all it’s an okay read but you’re not missing anything if you skip this offering from Brooks.

3 stars

Similar Reads: World War Z by Max Brooks, FEED by Mira Grant.

Closure Limited and Other Zombie Tales was published in 2012 by Duckworth Overlook. ISBN 978-0715642931.

Waywalkers – Catherine Webb

Waywalkers - Catherine WebbAn oldie but a goodie, Waywalkers was published in 2003 by Catherine Webb. It’s the first of two novels about Sam Linnfer (or The Devil as he is more commonly known). He’s out to discover who is responsible for the murder of his half-sister Freya. Sam soon learns that Freya’s death is part of a much larger plot to control Heaven, Hell and Earth and whoever is behind it is now trying to eliminate Sam as well.

Webb draws from several mythologies for this series in a kind of religious free-for-all. We get Jehovah, Lucifer, archangels, and the denizens of Hell. In addition to these Judeo-Christian staples, the Scandanavian gods of Valhalla, Egyptian Seth, Greek Cronus and Buddha also make appearances. Rather than being seperate groups they are all part of the same family, spawned from personified concepts like Time, Wisdom, Love and Magic. Also included are the fey folk of many cultures. It makes a colourful collection for worldbuilding and Webb does a good job of tying it all together.

The pacing is good and we learn more of Sam’s history as the book progresses which builds his character nicely. I also liked the way Webb built up Annette’s character over the book. However, at points Webb swaps perspectives to random minor characters and it could be quite jarring. There were a couple of occasions where I had to read back to clarify what was going on and who’s perspective I was reading.

The climax of the novel was a great break point to lead into the second novel. It resolved enough of the mystery around Freya’s death and the battle for Heaven, Earth and Hell to be a satisfying conclusion while still leaving me invested in Sam and what’s to come in the second novel, Timekeepers.

3.5 stars

Similar reads: Fated by Benedict Jacka, The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond.

Waywalkers was published in 2003 by Atom. ISBN: 190423321X.

TBR as of January 29th

Coming soon to a blog near you!

A (very) small selection of my To Read books. These are all sitting next to my bed and should be the next round of reviews coming. Providing I don’t pick something else off my shelves anyway! I’m supposed to be working through books I’ve had on my shelves for a while but I’m a sucker for a newly purchased book.

Particularly looking forward to Saundra Mitchell’s Defy The Dark anthology as it features stories from Sarah Rees Brennan and Carrie Ryan. That being said, Timekeepers will probably be the next up as the sequel to the most recently finished novel, Waywalkers by Catherine Webb.