When I saw a zombicide title by Tim Waggoner I was more than a little excited and I was not disappointed. Waggoner does have an acquired style for some but when it comes to horror and media tie-ins he is good, really good.
Planet Havoc sees scoundrels and soldiers band together to survive an onslaught of alien-zombies. A deserted R&D facility tempts Leviathan, a hungry new Guild, into sending a team to plunder its valuable research. After a neighbouring planet was devastated by an outbreak of Neo-Xenos – alien zombies, the base was abandoned but that outbreak was a planet away so surely it wouldn’t be a problem. When the Guild ship is attacked by a quarantine patrol, both ship crash onto the deserted world. But it isn’t as deserted as they hope. A murderous new Xeno threat awakens and intends to escape the planet. Can the crews cooperate to destroy the new foe? Or will they be forced to sacrifice their ships and lives to protect the galaxy?
I have to say the first couple of chapters I was worried I wouldn’t be into this – the writing didn’t overly hook me to begin because there was a lot of introduction to the characters. I continued on and I am so glad I did. After the initial introduction chapters everything is dialed up to and past eleven! From crash landing on the deserted planet to the first attack by the alien life forms, Waggoner does what he does best: action and horror.
With elements of a Starship Trooper-esque Xeno outbreak this work quickly turned to action-packed, blood-soaked adventure. Capturing the real essence of the game, Waggoner pits his protagonists against almost un-survivable odds. The action is near non-stop and it’s not always the Xeno’s the protagonists have to worry about but each other as well.
As usual I don’t like spoiling anything but the ending was brilliantly executed, coming almost full circle with the characters involved and the situation. It also left a brilliant opening for a follow up novel which I would love to see in the future. A definite most for a sci-fi horror fan as well as fans of the zombicide games. As usual Aconyte and Waggoner have managed to perfect tie-in fiction by keeping enough of the game lore there but making it their own as well.
The ebook will be available from 5th April 2022 along with the Paperbook version in the US, the paperbook will be available from 7th July for the UK.
TIM WAGGONER is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of over fifty novels and seven collections of short stories. He writes dark fantasy and horror, as well as media tie-ins. He’s also a full-time tenured professor who teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio.
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