The Zombie Combat Manual – Review

The Zombie Combat Manual – Review

When I saw The Zombie Combat Manual, by Roger Ma, hanging out of my mail box I thought to myself, “Do we really need another how-to book on fighting the undead? What is this book going to tell me that I haven’t already seen before?”. Much to my surprise and pleasure, The Zombie Combat Manual (TZCM) gave me new insight on dealing with the recently reanimated and ended up being quite entertaining.

The format of the book is similar to the popular Zombie Survival Guide, broken down into themed sections like weapons, fighting techniques and zombie anatomy. Each section also has topically themed first-hand eyewitness accounts, called Combat Reports, from survivors of the undead outbreaks, which are by far my favourite part.

These accounts are the ‘where were you when when the zombocalypse happened’ tales of the survivors’; recounting how they realised what was happening in the early stages and how they managed to survive the undead onset while avoiding fatal mistakes. The stories in TZCM are well written and well researched, specifically with regard to both the personal and professional background of each character and their specific environments. In more than one story, I found myself impressed with how thoroughly the author explained scientific or industrial concepts and really fleshed them out in order to explain how some things did or did not work.

I won’t go into each section individually but instead focus on those where I found information that was new and fresh. In ‘Disinformation and Misconceptions’ there is a breakdown of common misconceptions of the undead that, if not corrected, can lead to a very unwelcome outcome. For instance, there is the idea that the best way to neutralize a zombie is through the use of a firearm. While this is the most effective way, its by no means the most practical.

Halberd Zombie Death

In the next section, we learn about zombie anatomy. The Zombie Combat Manual introduces some new undead anatomical concepts. We learn that once reanimation has occurred there is a change in make-up of the teeth of a zombie, a change that makes them that much more vicious. Also highlighted is the smell that emanates from a zombie. The smell of a fetid, rotting corpse can be just as debilitating as one actually grabbing hold of you. Stock up on your nose plugs now, as these seem to be an often overlooked weapon in the fight against the undead.

Also discussed is the physical fitness of the survivor. It may seem that those who are lean, mean, fitness machines would stand a better chance in fending off the undead. Well, TZCM has something to say about having your own personal stockpile of reserves (i.e. having a few extra pounds) as opposed to having a practically nil body mass index.

Probably the most interesting part of this book and something I’ve often thought about myself, though never seen in a zombie guide, is the section on ‘Child Protection’. This section details how current child/baby products like strollers, slings, backpacks, etc. will hold up in a zombie attack, retreat or going on the offence. The manual even gives details on what weapon is the best to use depending on the method you use to transport your child. There was also advice on how to pro-actively keep baby calm so as not to alert the undead of your whereabouts. As an expecting mother, this topic was of special interest to me.
Zombie Combat Club

While this book is similar to other how-to guides on the undead and does tackle some topics you’ve maybe encountered before, The Zombie Combat Manual is different enough to warrant going out and picking it up! It’s a fun read that offers new ideas and concepts that are both interesting and fresh to help you survive the zombocalypse and the very well written first-hand survivor accounts are a great read.

You can buy the book from Amazon below or find out more on the official site.

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I'm a southern belle from Atlanta, Georgia with a taste for the dark, strange and macabre. Co-author of The Bloody Blondes' Blog, I love to discuss horror movies with anyone willing to join me. KGLucas can be found over on Twitter.

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Comments (1)

 

  1. Mystyc says:

    I bought this book and absolutely love it. This is the quintessential guide for combating those rotting walkers.

    There’s even a section an training and simulations, varying body types of humans and their pros and cons.

    A must read and also, it’s great for rpg geeks that need ideas for a zombie campaign.

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