Thursday, 20 June 2013

ZVR Diplomacy: A Zombie vs Robots Collection Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Steve Lockley, Rio Youers, Robert Hood, Gary McMahon, Ekaterina Sedia, Simon Clark, Dale Bailey and Simon Kurt Unsworth
Edited By Jeff Conner
Art By Mike Dubisch

Published By Open Road Integrated Media / IDW Publishing

Genre
Science Fiction, Action, War, Horror

Synopsis


Zombies vs Robots Goes International!

It's the Cold War in Hell as undead flesh clashes with uncaring metal. The zombie apocalypse is a true global conflagration, and ZvR: Diplomacy is at the frontlines with a collection of original stories either set in Russia or the UK.

On all fronts rabid braineaters battle gleeful warbots, with a beleaguered (and dwindling) mankind caught in the middle.

Featuring original stories by today's leading perpetrators of zombie terror and robot rampage, namely Steven Lockley, Rio Youers, Robert Hood, Gary McMahon, Ekaterina Sedia, Simon Clark, Dale Bailey, and Simon Kurt Unsworth, ZvR: Diplomacy is a unique new chapter in the ongoing Zombie vs Robots prose program, and is fully illustrated by horror-master Michael Dubisch.

Review

I'm not going to lie to you guys.  You've been reading this blog to know I bloody love zombies and I'm a massive science fiction nut too.  Give me gore, robots, flesh eating zombies and I am a very happy little nerd.

This release definitely fits that bill and then some.

A collection of short stories all set in the same world, this really does cover all the bases for both fans of military stories and of zombies.  In fact, I was really impressed with the scope of some of the stories here in that they didn't just go the normal route of zombies eating people, people shooting zombies then nothing in between.

Instead they both cover the battles between the dwindling human population, the brutality of the war being waged between the zombies and the robots and the personal stories of the characters trapped during all of this.

I'm not going to lie and say that each story is perfect because they're not.  Instead, this collection does something really impressive.  All the stories manage to keep the quality level high with fast pacing and some intelligent writing.  There are some stories that are better than others yet I can honestly say that  there wasn't a single story that I didn't like through out the entire collection.

The strongest stories of these were by far Robert Hood's and Dale Bailey's.  Hood's story about the soul of a man being trapped in a robot may not sound all that original on paper but the strength of his writing really makes it a gripping story.  I was transfixed throughout thanks to the superb pacing and really couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.  Bailey's pulp story really merits a shout out thanks to how the writing really makes the story seem longer than it is but in a good way.  I just wanted it to go on and on.

As someone who is a relative newcomer to the Zombies v Robots world, I didn't  feel lost at all.  I enjoyed the different types of stories here.  Each takes a different point of view of the conflict and that's one of the main strengths of the work here.  Not only did I enjoy the stories here, I'm also going to be checking  out other stories and books by the writers included here.

The thing that sets this set off is the artwork spread throughout the collection is the superb and atmospheric art work by Mike Dubisch.  It really has a quite other worldly feel to the art and that really ties in well with the stories..

All in all, this is a superb set of stories and all are superbly paced with enough action to keep you on the edge of your seat as a reader and yet the characters here are written in such a way that they're well formed and the ones that aren't have an air of mystery and excitement to them.  Well worth picking up.

Story 4/5
Characters 4/5
Recommended 4/5
Overall 12/15

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