Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Coldbrook - Tim Lebbon

It's Saturday morning and I'm holding a new book in my hands. A real brick of a book with a comfortable heavy feel, and I want to start reading it straight away. The book, Coldbrook, is Tim Lebbon's new horror novel. I've read quite a few books by Mr Lebbon, mostly fantasy, but always with a streak of horror. I think if anyone can do zombies it's Tim Lebbon. Many thanks to Hammer for providing me with a review copy of Coldbrook.

Secret research facility, travel between alternative universes, super evil villains, wonky old scientist with guns and ZOMBIES. That's all you need for a brew full of fright and kick ass, and with Tim Lebbon stirring the cauldron it's Halloween everyday.

Coldbrook is the name of the secret underground complex where the scientists are about to change the world. Or rather, already have. A portal to an alternative version of earth was opened not long ago. A containment field zaps anything living with electricity, stopping brain activity in anything living. This works well until something long dead steps through the portal. Patient Zero has arrived.

As always, no system is stronger than its weakest link, and once again it's human weakness which causes a disaster. I don't want to point the finger of blame and give the plot away, besides, we're are all familiar with zombie outbreaks anyway.

I've always liked how Tim Lebbon chooses to mix genres, and Coldbrook is no exception. This time the main genre is obviously zombie horror, but you can't deny the presence of SF. Traveling between realities is pretty geeky after all. It also gives room for spicing up the world building with some truly exotic locations. In spite of all the chaos, mayhem and untold deaths Tim Lebbon still finds room for tranquility and beauty in his world. As a reader I did appreciate the chance to start breathing again and to let the pulse resume a normal rhythm.

Coldbrook is told from the point of view of four, I think, characters, and it's a solid cast. They are all ordinary people who had every ounce of normality ripped from their lives and can only do their best to cope. Their circumstances are all very different, and even the ones who know each other and start out in the same place will have their own story to tell. I always appreciate believable characters in a book, and Tim Lebbon does not let me down.

Coldbrook was a real page turner, and one of those great reads where you don't want to put it down, or even notice the lateness of the hour. It was both scary and exciting, a book which kept me on the edge of my seat, but also a book which made me curious about the world and the characters.

Coldbrook weighs in at 656 pages and is published by Hammer.


  1. Sounds like an interesting read Erik. Might have to check it out at some point.