Abaddon Books, out now
Coburn, Kayla and Gil continue their quest to find a lab in San Francisco…
Very much a continuation of the story begun in Double Dead, Bad Blood makes no allowances for anyone who isn’t up to speed with the events of the first book. There isn’t really room anyway since it would take space away from Coburn’s inner battles, which are perhaps the most fascinating part of the story.
Coburn, the vampire alone in a world of zombies (or so he thinks anyway), has developed a conscience. Okay, he’s got it an unusual way, since it’s actually the consciousness of Kayla, the young girl with the amazing blood which can cure disease, somehow transferred into him. The process began during Double Dead, but now not only are some of Coburn’s own instincts suggesting alternate courses of actions than simply maiming and killing, but there’s someone acting like the man who used to remind Caesars that they are only human.
Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean there’s any less gore and horror in this novella: Wendig, as ever, pumps it up to thirteen (eleven would be for pussies), providing us with such lovely mental pictures as a bunch of schoolkids destroying a band of zombies in scenes that would be too much even for The Walking Dead to portray. Wendig also takes some ideas we’ve seen before in zombie literature (such as zombie parents watched over by their alive offspring) and gives them his own spin.
There’s a final shock in the last chapter which paves the way for another story – soon, please?
Verdict: Visceral and bloodthirsty, this should slake the appetite of zombie fans for a bit. 8/10