Buckle up and sit back for a joyous ride, it’s time for another installment of In My Opinion Reviews. This week I’ll educate you on Coldbrook by Tim Lebbon, and why out of every zombie story that’s out there, you should read this one. I mean, just look at that cover!
Coldbrook is a great novel by a great novelist. I’ve read a few other stories by Tim Lebbon and have yet to be disappointed in any of them. This novel starts off right in the action, and stays that way until the very last page. The book is classified in the horror genre because it deals with some gruesome and gory deaths by aforementioned zombies and their hell-bent desire to destroy all living things. But the book reads a lot more like a science fiction thriller because Tim jumps deep into multiverse theory and the possibilities of multiple and alternate realities next to our own. So yes, there are some quantum mechanics within these pages, but it’s dumbed down for the likes of most people. Fun fact: this book takes place in a small town in North Carolina in the Appalachian mountains, and one of the main characters is named Victor. When I started reading this book, I was in a small town in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, and my name is Victor. Coincidence? I think not!
PLOT: So the story begins three days after a team of scientists in the Appalachian mountains have successfully opened a doorway into an alternate universe. They call it the “breach” and they’ve pretty much just been staring at how awesome it looks since they created it. But on the third day something comes through the breach into our world, and that something is not friendly. That thing turns out to be a form of zombie called a “fury”, eats a bunch of people in the scientific facility, and from there you have your typical outbreak story as you follow several POV characters as their attempts to survive. It’s not your typical outbreak story in that you’ve got alternate universes the main characters bounce around in, and the people and technology from those other universes interact with our own in very unexpected ways.
CHARACTERS: The characters have much depth, respond in realistic ways, and are all memorable in their own right. Even the characters that only make it through one chapter before getting bit, they stick with you. The POV characters are flawed in the way real people are, and the struggles they go through are legitimate. I guess what I mean is that throughout the story I never once felt like I reading about fictional characters, but legitimate people with goals and dreams. Being able to pull that off is the mark of a truly gifted writer.
IMAGERY: Dang, it’s good. Almost too good. The description of carnage and mutilation is frightfully accurate. And when he writes about settings, the Appalachian mountains, Great Cherokee National Park, US 1, and the Coldbrook facility itself, it seems as if Tim has already been to these places and is describing them from memory. The way he tells it makes you picture the scenario and all pieces of the setting as if you’re there yourself. Again, another mark of a great writer.
VERDICT: If you get scarred easily, stay away. If you are squimish and can’t take gore or excesive amounts of blood, stay away. If you don’t like cussing, stay away. If you just straight up don’t like stories, zombies, or good writing in general, then stay away. But, if you’re a reader and want a damn good story by a damn good writer, then this book, in my opinion, is for you. It’s actually got a good number of pages, but the action and suspense grip you so tightly, you fly through the story in no time. Check out Coldbrook. In my opinion, you won’t regret it. And if you’re like me, when done reading it you’ll start going over how you’d survive the outbreak and resulting apocolypse in your head. I mean, yeah, we’re all going to die in the end, but it’s entertaining to try and come up with plans and see how long you’d survive. My normal strategy of getting a boat and chilling at sea doesn’t work in this story, because the zombies can swim. That changes the whole game, in my opinion. But I digress. Check out this book, then we can have a discussion about how we’d survive.