18 November 2011

Kings of the Dead by Tony Faville

Kings of the Dead by Tony Faville

Published: 12 April 2011 by Permuted Press

Pages: 270 (paperback)

Genre/s: Zombie, Post-Apocalyptic


When the H1N1 "Swine Flu" virus mutates it begins to not only kill those who have received the vaccination, but also bring on the unthinkable: the dead reanimate. Cole Helman and his friends are not only survival experts, they've spent hours discussing and preparing for just this event and quickly head to the hills before the cities become clogged with looting and riots. But the group knows all too well that the living dead are just the beginning of their problems, and they'll eventually have to deal with the worst qualities of the living-desperation, greed, selfishness, and cruelty-in this new post-apocalyptic world. And a chance encounter at a secret military installation may reveal a conspiracy bigger than any of them had imagined... Straight out of the apocalypse comes the chronicle of one small group and their experiences with life and death, survival and loss. In a world of the living dead, is one man capable of maintaining not only his community, but his own sanity?

My Thoughts

Kings of the Dead is written in journal form, which is a style I particularly like in zombie and post-apocalyptic books, as it tends to reveal more of the human emotion and daily struggles of the writer. There are also some entries from other characters, which add a new perspective to their situations.

The majority of Kings of the Dead is written by Cole, a survivalist who, along with his wife and friends, has prepared for the worst and escaped from the cities before it all goes pear-shaped.

To begin with, I did find this book to be quite run-of-the-mill – the characters seemed a little cookie-cutter (ex Marine for example) and the action sequences a little too similar to so many other zombie books.

However, Kings of the Dead did pick up, and posed some very important questions on what would happen to an ordinary person thrown into an undead world. Characters with medical conditions find their health improving and their ability to be self sufficient, and the idea of creating ‘channels’ around their safe-haven to ensure they only have to fight zombies a handful at a time, rather than being overrun by a horde is an interesting one that I have not come across before.

There is quite a bit of discussion over weapons which I do admit I skimmed – not because it was badly written or inaccurate, it just held little interest for me.

Kings of the Dead does delve into the darker side of the ‘human factor’ and there are several disturbing scenes, however these are necessary to the story and show the struggle that normal human beings have maintaining their moral and ethical standards in a world falling apart.

It’s not easy to write a book that stands out in a sub-genre that’s experienced such fast growth and popularity but Kings of the Dead holds its own. And the ending is just that, an ending! Hurray!


  1. Great review!! As far as *realism* goes, I think an important factor that too many Z-books
    overlook is the psychological impact that such a grisly event would have on the survivors. How could your average *personality* remain sane & functioning is beyond me, and I think any writer worth his salt needs to explore that issue - just my 2 cents ;D

  2. For sure - I'll be the one curled up in a cupboard living on dust bunnies!

  3. Thank you for taking the time to not only read Kings, but to leave a honest and thoughtful review.

    M.A.D - That was one of the things I really wanted to touch on with Kings, not everything would be "unicorns and rainbows" in a zombie apocalypse. Living life like that would most definitely leave it's share of "marks" on a person, both physically and emotionally.

    Kat, again, thank you!

    Tony Faville

  4. This looks good, thanks so much for sharing :)



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