So, I received this review copy of Zombie Apocalypse! Fightback from Robinson (the publisher, not the Crusoe). The book is a 'mosaic novel', with a narrative arc adorned by the work of many talented hands.
It's a sequel to Zombie Apocalypse! and, like the first book, edited by Stephen Jones, which is why I've got it. Robinson sends me the Best New Horror anthology every year, while I send Stephen Jones copies of ST.
So far so good. The problem is, I can't be doing with zombie stuff. I find it about as compelling as sparky vampires, i.e. not at all. I can't get into it, and while I'm impressed by the array of good writers marshalled for this book (among them Reggie Oliver, Simon Strantzas, Paul Finch, and John L. Probert) my jaundiced view of the walking dead ain't gonna change. I may not know much about reanimated corpses that chew people's faces off, but I know what I don't like.
And it's a pity, because skimming through ZA!F I find some really nice notions, not least references to Hobbs End and some interesting historical pastiche. It's a well-produced book and may well be pop-lit catnip to zombie lovers the world over.
Now, the obvious way to deal with a review you don't wanna do is find some other literary luminary who's willing to have a go. But, though I number many writers, editors and reviewers among my Facebook friends, none of them wanted this particular gig.
So, what's an ethical-ish editor to do? I can't not mention it, but I can't give a vague-but-glowing endorsement to it. So instead, pop over to Amazon UK and check out the reviews of the first book, then make up your own mind. As one does.