Comparisons to “The Zombie Survival Guide” are only inevitable. Max Brooks’ “The Zombie Survival Guide” is perhaps the most detailed examination of what to do and how to act during the conventional zombie apocalypse. Not just that, it poses as a good hand book for tips on what to do during a natural disaster. Such as filling containers with water until help arrives, and guarding your own domicile until help arrives. If it ever arrives. Mostly though it’s about how to survive during the zombie apocalypse of the Romero variety. “The Zombie Combat Manual” completely sets itself apart by being primarily about zombie combat and nothing more. Anything about where to hide, how to hide, where to retreat and how to store food is left for the Brooks novel.
“The Zombie Combat Manual” is strictly for the violence buff who wants to know how to battle the walking dead and look like a bad ass doing so. There are explorations in to various weapons, how they hold up in combat, and how to implement them. The newest treat for the book that the Brooks hand guide didn’t address pretty much in detail is the stench of the walking dead. In “The Zombie Combat Manual,” writer Roger Ma addresses that one of the best weapons in a zombie’s defense is the smell. Often times people can forget how badly they smell and become disoriented, allowing the zombies to gain the upper hand. It’s a new Easter egg in the zombie battle tactics that I enjoyed reading about.
As with any book of this type, there is the temptation to include accounts from the living about their confrontations with the walking dead. At the end of every chapter there are accounts from folks who helped to revolutionize and change the art of zombie combat. While the stories lack the impact and scare factor of Max Brooks’ own accounts at the end of his own book, Author Roger Ma does succeed in telling detailed and vivid accounts of unique characters. All of whom have a hand in defending the human race against the walking dead and adding some new defenses.
Most of the book is about tactics and mathematics about the battle as well as strategy and how to confront the zombie as an actual foe. It estimates the speed of the walkers and the range of miles they can go depending on their state of decomposition and or mutilation, there are diagrams, explorations in to body armor, the truth about sports equipment as weapons, and the benefits and disadvantages about using certain hand held weapons. There are even methods on hand to hand combat with the walking dead. “The Zombie Combat Manual” is a different kind of zombie hand book and one that is similar to “The Zombie Survival Guide” but entertaining in its own right. It’s not as detailed or creepy as Max Brooks’ guide, but it does the trick for survivalists or zombie aficionados who want to study up for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.