Thursday, October 8, 2015


Götterdämmerung by Jonathan Green. A Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army short story, originally published by Abaddon Books, February 2013. Approx. 31 pages.

Just a quick mention before I get into the actual review - as of the time of this writing, this story is available for download absolutely FREE over at the Abaddon Books/Rebellion Publishing site. There's really no reason not to grab a copy. Link is here. Now, on to the review.

Ok, say what you will about the inherent evil of the Nazis. But, you cannot deny, they were the best dressed folks at the big party. I cannot help but wonder if a little bit of that, combined with the sheer heights of their evil, have kept them so relevant in pop culture even seven decades after World War II. 

It seems these days that there is a thriving sub-culture catering to the Nazi Zombie genre (actually, there have been books and movies for decades as well). You would think people would be tired of it by now. I guess some things never die. Exactly the case in point here.  

In Götterdämmerung, we meet a crack British sniper team tasked with a most urgent mission; infiltrate the city of Totenstadt, and eliminate a high value asset named von Teufel, a high-ranking member of the Nazi Party's occult division. 

The story opens with a bang, dropping us into the midst of a thrilling action sequence. This segues into a meeting with a deranged Nazi scientist, who leads our merry covert band down a true pathway to Hell. This all culminates with a scene which delivers on the promise of the title, set against the backdrop of a nightmarish Nazi occult machine. I haven't seen such a nightmarish summoning device since Urotsukidoji introduced us to the infamous Nazi Death Rape Machine...

Please, please, PLEASE forgive me using the horrid edited dub. It's all I could find on Youtube.

So, what works here and what doesn't? Götterdämmerung is a solid little Nazi zombie yarn. The opening scene is great; Green really captures the feel of the battle. For a moment, I didn't want it to stop being a traditional WWII story. As far as the supernatural elements go, kudos to Green as well. The climactic set-piece is, again, well constructed and well imagined. 

I will say that the best action takes place in those first few pages. The action in the latter portion has some real highlights, but it gets confusing at times too. 

Characters? Well, we don't get to know too much about the characters. Which is fine, since they are supposed to be going in deep cover. We get their names, and enough characteristics to make them likable (especially the two primaries; one is resourceful, and one is a tad jocular. Basically all you need for a short tale anyhow). As far as their prowess as snipers, and resourcefulness as commandos, that is done well too. However, again, in the later scenes, when all literally goes to Hell, so do their techniques. There is, though, one moment which I had a problem with: I don't care if you agree to follow a demented Nazi scientist to the target location, but I doubt any covert operative is going to willingly offer his full name, and nickname, plus the names of his fellow operatives to said nutcase. Then again, we can also assume that they were all operating under aliases, so there's that.

But what about the important stuff? Mainly, the zombies? They are done nicely, when they finally show up. Green puts his own touches on them to differentiate them from standard zombie fare. They are creepy, too. I just wish we could've gotten at least one or two more paragraphs with them (see, I'm not greedy). Just enough time to see some various stages of decomposition; time to see a broader range of their possible attributes so that we could quantify the true danger that the Nazis now had at their disposal.

Again, the zombies are done well, but to be honest, the setting of that final scene, and Green's description of the sheer horror of what was going on, were more scary than the monsters themselves. I hope that doesn't come off as backhanded praise; I honestly think the scenery trumped the actors. All of them. 

Solid Nazi zombie action here. A great read for an October night. Head on over to Rebellion Publishing and get your copy now.

One last thing that I feel I need to mention: there are, unfortunately, a fair amount of typos in this short story (I counted 3-4 pretty glaring ones). This kind of thing, you don't blame the author (or take points off), since we all make typos in our texts. It's just, the editor should've caught them. These things aren't the end of the world, but they do detract from a seamless reading experience.

Final Score:


Cover Score:

Do I need to say anything? Just look at it.

Cover Final Score:


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