Thursday 11 February 2016

REVIEW: Jim Goforth - Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger

Genre: Horror
Publisher: J. Ellington Ashton Press
Publication Date: 8th Jan 2016
Pages: 422


A copy of Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Jim Goforth, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by J. Ellington Ashton Press.

Jim Goforth is another name I have noticed on Facebook and such like for a very long time but never read. He has always been described to me as an all-round top bloke and great writer. He has actually been a friend of my wife’s on Facebook for a couple of years before I even connected with him. I know he does fantastic work for authors all over the world but how is his writing? I took on this brick of a book to find out.

Death metal super group, Undead Fleshcrave, are playing in Armada. Seth, Julietta, Mark and Miranda, along with other friends go along to the gig.

Although their preferred choice is black metal, this gig has been talked about for weeks and they feel they must go to see what all the hype is about.

Shortly after entering the venue, Seth gets the feeling that something just isn’t right. He doesn’t realise just how perceptive he is.

Undead Fleshcrave are about to unleash The Zombie Trigger and change the world forever.

What follows is a crazy chase across the country to try and prevent the trigger from going off, turning the world into a world of the undead.

I have a new found love of zombie books this past year or so. I hated them for years. I think it was because they all ended up being the same. Something falls from the sky, explodes, zombies. Someone releases a nerve gas, zombies. Someone gets bitten by a monkey at a circus, zombies. Nothing fresh. Always the same thing over and over. Then something fresh happened. Duncan Bradshaw’s Class Three. Christina Bergling’s Savages. Tamara Jones Spore. Mark Allan Gunnell’s Fort. All zombie stories but all with fresh ideas on how the zombies came about.

Add Jim Goforth to that list. He introduces zombies into a story in a uniquely fresh way that involves metal music, and trust me, you need to listen to his suggested playlist to get yourself through this gore fest!

The characters hit home very early on in the story. You start off with a close knit group of friends who, through a brutal episode, are literally torn apart. Seth becomes the defacto leader of the survivors along with his girlfriend Julietta and his pal Mark and his girl Miranda. They are all much the same. Quiet enough personalities that must adapt to their new surroundings very quickly and develop a much thicker skin, in more ways than one, than they could ever have imagined.

They are joined in their struggle by three mysterious dudes called Black, Tempest and Blizzard. They appear to simply be three members of a band called Subversion, but soon turn out to be much much more.

One other character from the first bunch is a fella called Dax. I didn’t like him. Enough said.

The evil band, Undead Fleshcrave, don’t feature much until he latter stages of the story but when they do, they are probably best described as abhorrent.

The plot is fairly simple. The band is unleashing hell and turning normal people into the undead. The group led by Seth and Black must try and stop them. The execution of the plot is not so simple. It is intricately thought out and imaginative and fresh in its approach to how the zombie apocalypse may take place. This isn’t like the old time zombie stories I eluded to earlier. The method of turning people is totally different. The conspiracy behind it is different in that there are ways and means to survive the apocalypse if you are in with the right people.

It mainly deals with the struggles of a few seemingly plain individuals trying to defeat evil, before the evil takes over the world. This story delves deep into the human psyche and shows in differing ways how the same situations effect different people, causing some to crumble and some to gain strength where they never knew they had it.

It has its fair share of blood and guts and gore and more blood and quite a bit of puss. Being a zombie story you have periods of limbs flying left right and centre and quite a few heads spinning. You have fear and tension in abundance. I found some of the scenes in this story to be very effective on the tension front. You know what is going to happen. You just don’t know where it is going to come from and when.

Negative thoughts? I’m finding it hard to explain this one. I found at times that the sentences were too long? I don’t know how to explain this properly but sometimes I felt like the descriptions of certain things happening were elaborated on too much? Sometimes the sentences could have been just as effective with a few less words in them and I felt I was coming across a full stop a lot later than I thought I should. I know this is being ultra-picky but sometimes it just spoilt the flow of the story for me.

Jim Goforth, however is a first class writer. He writes this stuff very well. He developed the characters in this story in such a way that you fell into stride with them very easily and were able to follow them in whichever direction they went. He injects a lot of emotion into his characters without, it seems, even trying. During some of the quieter moments in the story you get to know them very well and soon form your own allegiances.

Don’t however think that you know how this one is going to pan out. Mr Goforth was called a certain name by me on a couple of occasions after taking me in a totally different direction than I thought I was going to go and on one occasion had me sitting with my jaw trailing the floor in surprise.

I enjoyed this a lot. It is a big book. Add to that my ultra-picky too long sentence gripe and for me it could have been a bit shorter but that is personal choice, not a reflection on the book. I look forward to a possible sequel to this one but if not, I will certainly be picking up more by Jim Goforth.

To summarise: zombies brought about with uniqueness. Blood and guts and passion and tension and metal. All rolled together in one big book. This will keep you on your toes and keep the heart rate well raised.

General rating:

★★★★ not far off the full lot!

Horror rating:

★★★★ and again!

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Undead Fleshcrave or any other books from Jim. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:


Thriving metropolis with a population including more than its healthy share of extreme heavy metal aficionados, which is why this city is the ideal location to kick off the inaugural tour of mysterious death metal super group Undead Fleshcrave.

With a concert to play to a sold out venue, the brutal metal collective have the metalhead denizens right in the palm of their hands, ready to unleash musical mayhem for Armada’s headbangers.

Among the capacity crowd are Seth, Mark, Julietta, Miranda, and their friends, all of whom belong to a different metal community to the death metal crew, that of black metal. Nonetheless, they will have more than a casual interest to witness the must-see show which has been the talk of the town for weeks.
Only this headbangers heaven isn’t going to be any ordinary concert. It is about to turn into headbangers hell. Undead Fleshcrave have a little thing they call Zombie Trigger which is going to be unveiled right here in Armada, and all true death heads are going to be treated to an orgy of bloody brutality and terror beyond any of the ultra-violent lyrics in the songs they adore.

Hopelessly ensnared in the crush of a concert turned cruel trap, Seth and company are just about to find Armada has been earmarked as the epicenter of a deliberately planned out undead apocalypse.

And this is only the beginning. Undead Fleshcrave have a calculated plan which will see them continuing their tour of terror all across the country, bringing the Zombie Trigger and its undead repercussions to every town they visit. Unless somebody can figure out how to stop them.

Jim Goforth is a horror author currently based in Holbrook, Australia. Happily married with two kids and a cat he has been writing tales of horror since the early nineties.

After years of detouring into working with the worldwide extreme metal community and writing reviews for hundreds of bands across the globe with Black Belle Music he returned to his biggest writing love with first book Plebs published by J. Ellington Ashton Press. His most recent releases include a collection of short stories/novellas, With Tooth and Claw, and compiling and editing Rejected For Content 3: Vicious Vengeance.

He has also appeared in Axes of Evil, Terror Train, Rejected For Content: Splattergore, Autumn Burning: Dreadtime Stories For the Wicked Soul, Floppy Shoes Apocalypse, the collaborative novel Feral Hearts, Teeming Terrors, Ghosts: An Anthology of Horror From the Beyond, Rejected For Content Volume 2: Aberrant Menagerie (which he is also the editor of) and Suburban Secrets: A Neighborhood of Nightmares. Coming next from Jim will be appearances in Tales From the Lake Volume 2, Drowning in Gore, Doorway to Death, another collab novel Lycanthroship as well as another full length novel Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger.

He is currently preparing the follow-up book(s) to Plebs and working on two new novels.

And for more about Jim, visit his site or find him on social media:

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