Author: Toby Venables
Genre: Horror with zombies and Vikings
Pages: Oversize paperback, 351
Publisher: Abaddon Books, April 12, 2011
Opening Lines: "Skalla sat, his hand resting on the pommel of his sword, his chin resting on his hands, staring at the pile of bodies."
"Northern Europe, 976 AD. Bjolf and the viking crew of the ship Hrafn flee up an unknown river after a bitter battle, only to find themselves in a bleak land of pestilence. The dead don't lie down, but become drauger—the undead—returning to feed on the flesh of their kin. Terrible stories are told of the dark castle in a hidden fjord, and of black ships that come raiding with invincible drauger berserkers. And no sooner has Bjolf resolved to leave, than the ships appear . . .
"Now stranded, his men cursed by the contagion of walking death, Bjolf has one choice: fight his way through a forest teeming with zombies, invade the castle and find the secret of the horrific condition—or submit to an eternity of shambling, soulless undeath!"
~ Jacket copy
After a friend of mine learned that I loved Norse sagas, she sent me her copy of this book. Not only is it full of Vikings, but they are battling zombies! Honestly, why wouldn't I read this book?!
When Bjolf's crew is chased away from a raid by their enemy, Grimmson, the end up on the shores of an island overrun by the walking dead. Once thought an old folktale, Bjolf's crew must battle the leader of the undead army in order to free themselves and the land from the curse. Unfortunately, it is far worse than he ever could have imagined.
Loved it! Honestly, this book reminded me of reading Norse sagas. I felt the author did a wonderful job crafting the story and keeping the Vikings intact. For me, it wasn't a simple hack and slash or mindless chomp. The author was able to blend both genres without problem.
The use of animal and religious symbolism was amazing! Even though your average person might not know a lot about the Norse culture, the author made it accessible without watering it down.
Honestly, it is hard to talk about this book without giving the whole story away. Suffice it to say, this was a great book, fast pace, and just enough action to keep you interested. And the author did a wonderful job of balancing the blood, gore, and action with human connection.
Even though there were some parts that I wish were played out a bit longer, this story was completely filling and fun! If you love sagas, Norse, and zombies, make sure this book is on your list!
Current Pages: 7472