Patrick D'Orazio's Reviews > Tomes of the Dead: The Devil's Plague

Tomes of the Dead by Mark Beynon
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Nov 05, 2010

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Read in March, 2008

The Devil's Plague takes place during the English Civil War (British Civil War?) and Oliver Cromwell, the leader of the Parlimentarians, has made a deal with the Devil (aka Mr. Cipher...perhaps a nod to Louis Cipher, from the movie "Angel Heart"?) that unleashes the Kryfangan, a demon army that looks somewhat like giant amphibians, upon the Royalist army, led by Charles Stuart, the heir to the English throne. They also were around in the time of Gengis Khan, who also signed up to have them fight for him. It seems they have been around since the dawn of humanity, getting greedy men to sign over their souls for the chance for them to fight for them.

The catch is that those killed by the Krynfangan rise from the dead, thus the undead tie in with this novel. The strange thing about the undead that rise is they have a real hate for the Kryfangan as well as all humanity. I guess I would figure the Kryf would lead the undead army to humanities entire destruction but instead, they seem forced to go to war with the undead after they all die by their blades or the undead kill all the human beings around them.

Overall, this story is well written but I really did not think it was all that compelling of a zombie story. Most of our time is spent with a rag tag band of actors who team up with Charles in an effort to stop Cromwell and then the Kryf and undead menace. The characters are somewhat interesting but not fascinating enough to have held my attention for the entirety of the book.

The writing is polished and the story is reasonably entertaining as a form of alternate history, especially if you are interested in British history, but as for a zombie story, I could take it or leave it. There was not enough of a sense of ominous forboding throughout the story that I really look forward to from a undead tale to make it something that really draws me in. Perhaps another reader will find it to be a more intriguing tale than I did.

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