Tuesday 21 September 2010


Z by Michael Thomas Ford (Random House)

HB RRP $19.95
ISBN 978-1-8647-1822-5
Reviewed by Oliver Phommavanh

Z is a novel for teenagers that combine two awesome things, video games and zombies. Josh is a highly skilled player in a game where he fights zombies and saves humans in various situations. It’s a controversial game because the world has just recovered from an actual zombie virus that almost wiped humanity off the map. Josh even had family who were destroyed as zombies, yet he still thinks they’re a fantasy.

All this changes when he meets the mysterious Charlie. Charlie introduces Josh to an underground league where you can play the game for real. That means real weapons, locations and...zombies?

Z is a relentless thriller, with loads of zombie-blasting action (both in-game and real-life). Despite the violence, Ford handles the gruesome detail with discretion so it’s no graphic bloodbath scenes. Readers will enjoy the gaming strategies that Josh’s team uses to battle the cunning zombies.

There is some drug use in the book. Josh takes some Z, a drug that warps his mind and makes him think like a zombie, enhancing his gaming experience. However, this scene focuses more on what it means to behave like a zombie than anything else.

Z is a wonderful story that brings video games to life in more ways than one. It’s recommended for ages 12 and up.

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