Sunday, May 25, 2014

New Book Review - Zombies Vs Robots: No Man's Land

Book - Zombies Vs Robots: No Man's Land
Writers - Jeff Conner (Editor), Fabio Listrani (Illustrations), Jonathan Maberry (Introduction), Chris Ryall, Jon McGoran, Mark Morris, Hank Schwaeble, Bobby Nash, Stephen Graham Jones, Stephen Dedman, John Skipp & Cody Goodfellow 
Series - Zombies Vs Robots #5
Published By - IDW Publishing/Open Road Integrated Media

First things first, I got this book from NetGalley, so thank you netgalley, IDW Publishing and Open Road Integrated Media for this opportunity.
Ah, zombies, who doesn't loves zombies. And any kind of mash up ideas featuring zombies and other interesting creatures/things always seems like a good idea. Although Zombies Vs Robots is quite an old idea actually, as this book is number 5 in the anthology series. I started this novel expecting some simple minded fun with lots of action and innovative ways to kill or get killed and that is exactly what is found here. While some of the stories are quite fun to read with interesting characters and action sequences some really lacks compared to others which makes this a mixed bag of an experience in the end.

'Meaner Than a Junkyard Dog' by Chris Ryall tells a story at the beginning of the outbreak and introduces humanities attempt at saving respective families by giving them a guard bot for protection, which at the end has quite humorous results. The overall fast paced action and varying cast of characters make this a very fun read.
'Killer Outfit' by Jon McGoran is next and is one of the best stories of this collection. McGoran really knows how to get in the mindset of his characters and describes the story of a group of survivors through the eyes of a very realistic and interesting person. And the overall amount of carnage in the story is also praise worthy.
'Paradise of the Lost' by Mark Morris tells the story of a survivor of a ship wreak ending up in a pacific island which apparently has one other survivor in it, a maternal robot. This story slowly unveils into a new kind of horror. While the idea was innovative the story in itself lacks the punch somehow with its lack of action at times.
'AB-IV' by Hank Schwaeble is another fun read which in addition to zombies and robots adds a new kind of excitement in the form of 'Amazons'(!). This was a very fun read with its unpredictable twists and turns and a nice shock ending.
'The Wall' by Bobby Nash on the other hand is one of the weaker stories in the anthology to be honest. While once again the idea and setting was innovative the story just feels a bit out of place and the closing parts felt a bit forced to be enjoyable.
'Geneses' by Stephen Graham Jones is a unique attempt at telling a story which just feels awkward and a bit too artsy to be digested with the other stories in the book.
'Farewell to the Masters' by Stephen Dedman feels like two stories jelled together in which the first part with a nice action sequence was enjoyable but the second half with its attempt at humor somehow didn't make me laugh at all, in fact I kept waiting for some more nice action which sadly didn't come.
'Chili Night', the second story by Jon McGoran is once again a very enjoyable piece. This  semi-prequel to the first story once again captivated me to finish it in one go with its realistic & likeable characters, nightmarish action sequences and delightful prose. This guy once again proves, he really does know how to write good characters.
'The Iron Samaritans' by John Skipp & Cody Goodfellow, while having a bit unrealistic characters (I mean who won't fight to save themselves?) was actually quite fun with its humorous robots and a very nice ending twist.

One other thing to mention here is the nice drawing by 'Fabio Listrani' which really adds to some stories & over all adds to the gory nature of the mash up in a appreciable way.

So, this anthology is a mixed bag in the end with some very enjoyable stories and some rather ambitious attempts which doesn't really deliver. But one thing is honest anyone who calls himself a zombie lover (like me) will enjoy this book surely.

This gets 3.5 out of 5 stars.  

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