April 2011 – Zombie Armageddon 1 : The Unwashed Dead – Ian Woodhead
Hardcore Brit Zombie Tale
(Click Book to purchase from Amazon.com)
First things first - this story is not for the faint-hearted. You can expect bad language from the start and I'm talking about just the F-word. So, if that isn't your thing - please quietly move along.
This is a hardcore Brit-zombie survival story set in a rundown council estate in Northern England. Think a combination of the original Dawn of the Dead movie and Channel 4's skins and you'll get the idea.
Woodhead's style is rough and raw - with a lot of street slang and I think this fits in well with the story. However, it's also peppered with those astute and detailed observations which are the mark of a good writer.
The tale is told from various perspectives and for a short novel, there are an awful lot of characters - possibly too many as it can get confusing at times. However, the idea of an outbreak on a typical estate is an intriguing one and Woodhead explores this through some brilliant characterisations. If you come from that background - you'll easily recognise them - the women who always changes at the window, the drunk who is at the local every night, the local hard nut - they are all there.
I suspect this is going to be an early work from a writer we will all hear more of in the future and so I can only recommend that you grab an e-copy now and get on board. This is good-value, home-grown zombie fiction - something fans have been screaming out for.
I look forward to seeing what Ian Woodhead comes out with in the future.
July 2011 – Zombie Armageddon 2: Walking with Zombies – Ian Woodhead
A Zombie Invasion of Bradford?
OK - this book is part of a larger story, all based around a major zombie outbreak on a council estate in the North of England but you know what, it can easily stand on its on own two feet. It's not a part two, so if you are interested in Woodhead's work, it's as good a place as any to start. (His other works as just as good.)
Woodhead's world is real, gritty & the characters are just about as nasty as the zombies. It's UK-based so for fans here it's refreshing to see the UK zombie perspective coming through loud & clear.
It's a sordid tale with some pretty unpleasant characters, for example Talbot Field - a violent heavy. The story moves on into a startling tale of zombie survival looked at from the unusual perspective of a bar. The tension builds throughout the novel like a pressure cooker which keeps you gripped to the story.
This isn't a massive novel but I found there was plenty of character development in there & it didn't feel rush. There are also a few lessons in there for all us. Firstly, don't ever try to box with a zombie - you can't beat them. Secondly, a long column of military vehicles coming towards you is never good news.
All in all, this is a solid story, tight, well-paced and cements Woodhead as one of the most exciting zombie novelists in the country. I also think he deserves some kudos for managing to merge Andy Bell from Erasure into a zombie story.
Step into Woodhead’s violent world of zombies if you dare!