Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Zombies: A Hunter's Guide and Your First Steps into a Zombie Apocalypse: A Book Review

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Zombies: A Hunter's Guide by Joseph A. McCullough is an illustrated guide to dispatching the undead. Osprey Publishing released this survival guide in October of 2010 and the pages are beautifully illustrated by Mariusz Kozik, Ana Milnar, Charlie Adlard ("The Walking Dead"), Michael Maier and many other artists. This light read is made of eighty pages and broken down into classes of zombies e.g. "Atomic Zombies," "Viral Zombies." There is also a large section for aspiring zombie hunters called "Zombie Hunter Weapons" and "Zombie Hunter Tactics." This latest guide to the undead is an enjoyable read, but McCullough's entry into the genre feels overly light and the read is missing some depth. However, overall this guide is recommended for those just starting off in their own adventures of zombie hunting.

As mentioned above, this illustrated how-to is broken down first as a classification guide to zombies and there are eight different categories. This short novel begins with "Voodoo Zombies" and quickly moves onto "Nazi Zombies" and later "Zombie Masters." Each class is given attention as to their "Creation ," "Identification and Threat," and "Elimination and Prevention." Surpisingly, "Atomic Zombies" desires your pink jelly (brains), while "Viral Zombies" only want to infect you with their disease ridden bite. Also, weapons are given some detail in the closing pages, with the automatic shotgun, or the AA-12 your best bet for surviving zombie hordes. By the way, zombie hordes are considered to be groups of ten zombies or more by experienced "Zombie Hunters."

The element which stands out most for this authored graphic is the exceptional attention to the images found within. From black and white to full page strategy maps, there is good coverage in the visual display. However, other elements stand out less grandly.

Zombies: A Hunter's Guide seems sparse in actual depth of narration. Yes, this is fiction, but Max Brook's The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z offer some in-depth personal accounts of a looming zombie apocalypse. There are only a few examples of personal accounts within the pages and this reader was hoping for more. Yet, for burgeoning zombie hunters, this is a solid into' on the possible threats of the undead.

Basic weaponry, body armour and some tactics are explored to give "Containment Teams" the advantage. But untrained "Outbreak Survivors" are best kept inside to remove the possibility of "post-traumatic stress disorder" (64). This zombie lover would suggest that most "Outbreak Survivors" should don their best protective equipment and arm themselves with blunt weapons to protect themselves actively, rather than passively. Yet, the stories of survivors and the personal accounts of military battlers are forgotten for a slightly dry narrative.

In the end, Zombies: A Hunter's Guide offers a lot in its well-crafted eighty pages. The classification of the different forms of the undead is welcomed and the differing dispatch methods is a curious read. Consider this your intro' into the zombie apocalypse, while you should continue your research with Max Brooks' The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z. Otherwise, you will find yourself as one of the undead, rather than a survivor.

Overall: 7.5 out of 10 (-1 for breadth, -1 for lack of personal accounts, -.5 on a heavily reliance on photos rather than words).

Another review of this title at Living Dead Media:

Zombies: A Hunter's Guide at Living Dead

This guide and other zombie novels are listed here for your protection:

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