I was browsing through my Kindle the other night when I saw the title, Tankbread. Having no recollection of downloading it, and not even sure what it might be about, I clicked on it and was rewarded with a cool, fast-paced zombie tale that should be made into a movie. Not to say reading this book wasn’t enjoyable. It was. I stayed up into the wee hours to finish it in one night and kept thinking about it the next day. Still, a movie version would be cool. You know, for people who don’t like to read.
The narrator of Tankbread is a hero on par with Riddick in the movie “Pitch Black” and Clint Eastwood‘s the Man with No Name. In fact, I don’t think narrator ever reveals his name. He’s called “bad dog,” by the zombie who hires him to pick up a package and the “courier” by the scientists who make synthetic humans as zombie food. This is one twisted post apocalyptic world.
Right off the bat, the reader knows the narrator has been there, done that, and stole the t-shirt. Surviving in a world essentially run by zombies is tough. For once, instead of the humans being the real threat to mankind, semi-intelligent zombies are kicking their ass. Sure, there’s cowardly, craven humans kowtowing to the the zombies, including making their food, but there’s also plenty of humans who are banding together and trying to eke out more than a sustenance lifestyle. The real menace in this tale are zombies who can think and plan. They’re definitely not as swift on the uptake as humans, but with their sheer numbers, they don’t have to be.
Still, there are plenty of feral zombies who exhibit traditional zombie behavior, but the dangerous zombies are capable of thinking of more than eating brains. Luckily scientists have produced human clones, called Tankbread, to feed the zombie hordes. Perhaps we should call them the zombie overlords. If the humans continue to produce Tankbread, the zombies won’t eat them. Appeasement on a grand scale.
The novel follows the journey of our reluctant hero from the zombie slums to human settlements and back again. His journey fuels this story and kept me glued to the page. The author squeezes in plenty of gore and fighting and death, but he keeps hope alive in this bleak world. At the end, I felt surprisingly good about the outcome. Sure, the zombie apocalypse is going to suck, but imagine if it turned out to be mankind’s finest hour, rather than an excuse for power-hungry psychopaths to fulfill their sickest desires.