By Matthew Smith

Review by Garry Charles

With the zombie genre coming back to the fore in recent years the market has been flooded with movies and books. This is a great thing for zombie fans but at the same time it threatens to bog the theme down with unoriginality and repetition. In the likes of Brian Keene and David Wellington we have been given champions for the role of zombies in fiction.

Well, now it's time to add a new name to that list of undead masters...

Put your hands together and welcome Matthew Smith.

With The Words of Their Roaring the reader is given something totally new to chew on. Yes, the staple idea of the undead being resurrected by a virus is there, but it's what Smith does with that premise which will blow you away. The story is broken up into three definite sections and these are set out in a non-linear format that allows the epic story to be told in a way that exceeds clever.

It opens up five years after the initial outbreak and London is overrun with flesh eating corpses (of the rambling, slow moving kind). The surviving humans are managing to scrape out a meagre existence whilst crime boss Harry Flowers prepares himself to take the city back and call it his own. Things quickly get out of control and just as the action is about to kick in Smith throws a curve ball and sends the reader back to before the outbreak where we get to learn so much more about the characters and the virus.

Not happy with twisting the format once, Smith does so again, and that is all I'm willing to give away of the story line. But be prepared to see something totally new and fresh. Smith must have a love of the genre and it comes through well. The characters and the setting are all written with a depth rarely seen and the reader will quickly find themselves rooting for the people they are introduced to. Every aspect of Smith's storytelling is believable, be it the more emotional sections, the scenes of flesh hungry zombies or the action set pieces. All of these are pulled off with flair and expertise. The world of horror fiction may have just found its equivalent to Tarantino.

The Words of Their Roaring is the latest release from Abaddon and they are quickly setting themselves up to be the leading contender for horror and fantasy fiction publisher of the year. I've now read a couple of the Abaddon titles and I'm going to be chasing up a whole lot more. They appear to grasp the direction modern fiction is going and they have embraced it well. Abaddon and their authors are definitely something to keep a close eye on.

The Words of Their Roaring by Matthew Smith. Paperback, 340 pp, £6.99. Published by Abaddon Books and available in all good bookshops, or online from Amazon.

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