Think Mad Max meets Resident Evil meets a little bit of Die Hard. That’s what I
got from Tankbread; and quite a bit more.
In Tankbread, Mannering
introduces us to an Australia that is trying to survive after the ravages of a
zombie epidemic. I’m not one for giving away plots in my reviews, and so I
won’t. But the stage is well set; it is hard to find an original setting and
plot staging in the plethora of zombie novels around these days. Mannering has
The Courier, our protagonist, is both the hero and anti-hero
of our tale. He is physically and mentally capable and strong and has the
metaphorical “balls of steel” (his fighting efforts were what reminded me of Die
Hard); but he has a selfish streak which has been one of his most obvious and
efficient tools for survival. When he comes across Else, he begins to question
everything he has so far seen as he travels across the wastes of Australia to
find a cure to the zombie menace.
Else reminded me very much of LeeLoo
from the Fifth Element; frail, naïve and childlike but with an unnerving
capability to learn and grow. Courier was also very much like Korben Dallas; he
was just trying to survive. In Else, he sees that humanity might have a reason
Mannering has crafted a great story with huge depth and
page-turning action. His undead are credible as is the source of the zombie
menace; there were some hints of Resident Evil towards the end but I shan’t
spoil it for you. You’ll just have to read and find out.