Juggernaut by Adam Baker – Advanced Review [Bane of Kings]


Bane of Kings writes an advanced review of Juggernaut, the prequel to Outpost, written by Adam Baker and published by Hodder and Stoughton Books.

“A brilliant, fast-paced novel that is highly recommended. I couldn’t put it down.” ~The Founding Fields

Zombies. If you’ve been a long-term follower of The Founding Fields, then you know that I like to read anything with zombies in it. That probably doesn’t explain why I haven’t picked up Max Brooks’ World War Z yet, but I’ll let you know when I do pick it up. But, back onto Juggernaut, the novel which I received an advanced review copy from the kind folks at Hodder and Stoughton. I also have another zombie related novel from them, The Return Man by VM Zito, so that should be a fun read when I get to it.

However, I keep straying off topic so without further ado, here’s the plot for Juggernaut.

A group of mercenaries, lead by the strong female lead character that is Lucy, are searching for Saddam’s gold in the year 2005, during the Iraq War. They’re on their last mission, and look set to go in, grab the gold, and get out in a matter of hours. However, something goes horribly wrong, and they soon find themselves fighting for their lives against an enemy that they didn’t think could exist. The mercenaries soon find themselves stranded in ancient ruins, confronted not only by an army that won’t stay dead – but also the threat of greed and betrayal.

Although at first, the novel itself may seem slow, but once Baker begins to increase the tension, the pace flies by, and you’re sucked into Juggernaut and won’t be able to put it down – even if you haven’t read that much zombie-horror in the first place.

Juggernaut certainly has an original background for the novel, and after all – there aren’t many zombie horrors set during the Iraq war. The characters, both the supporting cast and the main crew, are well developed and well rounded, and provide a strong cast to the novel.

Adam Baker’s second novel is a mostly action-packed, and provides some pretty awesome set-pieces where you will soon learn that nobody is safe – so don’t get too attached to a particular character.

I’d like to talk about the zombies here, in this review for a bit. Juggernaut is of course, set in the same world as Outpost, but can be read, as I found it could be, as a standalone novel without any prior knowledge of what happens in Outpost. What I like about the zombies in Baker’s novel is that they’re quite well explained, and the author manages to achieve this without spoiling the pace or otherwise.

However, not every novel is perfect – no matter how much we wish it could be. Juggernaut’s main fault and one that I hope is only in the advanced review copy that I got, is the constant typos, words missing and grammar errors littered throughout the novel, and where they were found – they were quite off-putting.

Juggernaut however, despite the flaws mentioned above, has made me want to read more of Baker and I will probably buy Outpost sometime soon. That’s always a good thing, when you enjoy an author’s work so much that you want to get the next or previous novel in the series.

The tone is pretty much serious throughout the entire novel, there are no z-word jokes, etc, no character that’s thrown in there for comic relief, but this novel doesn’t really need any as Baker manages to pull off a fantastic read and, with one book, is quickly becoming my ‘go-to’ author for zombie horror. Not that I’ve read much zombie-horror, mind you…

Before we finish off, I’d like to say a big thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for providing me with this advanced review copy – I really enjoyed this novel.

Verdict: 4/5

More Adam Baker: Outpost, Juggernaut

Milo, aka Bane of Kings, is a SFF/Comic reader, and watches a lot of TV. His favourite authors are Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson & Iain M. Banks, whilst his favourite TV shows are Battlestar Galactica (2003), Person Of Interest, Firefly, Game of Thrones, & Buffy the Vampire Slayer