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You do whatever they offer

You do whatever they offer

I just finished reading this book the other day. Monster Island. It’s hands-down the greatest novel I’ve read in years. Although I should note that I’ve read approximately two novels since finishing high school, so you should take that declaration with a grain of salt.

But really though! It’s compelling! And exciting! You’ll probably shrug it off and ignore there rest of this post when I tell you it’s a zombie novel though. Yes, my love for zombies has grown past the confines of video games and movies and has now expanded to the world of literature.

This is actually the third zombie-related book I’ve read recently, though the last ones -The Zombie Survival Guide and Zombie CSU- were more reference books than anything else. Monster Island though, is a full-fledged novel with characters and plot development and all that good stuff.

I won’t bother going into the plot, but I feel it’s very necessary to highlight one of the parts of Monster Island that I found most interesting. There are essentially two main characters in this novel, and one is named Gary. Gary is a zombie. Sort of. He infected himself with the Epidemic, and hooked himself up to a ventilator and a dialysis machine, keeping his brain intact even when he died from the illness. Thus, while all other zombies are brainless eating machines, Gary’s brain stays fully intact, saving his place as the smarted dead man in the world. It’s really neat how Gary develops as an intelligent monster, how he learns the ins and outs of being dead, and how he interacts with the other characters. Gary is quickly developed as a sympathetic character, beaten down by the fact that if he’d waited a couple days he would have been rescued, but things slowly start to change once he realizes that being dead makes one very hungry. I won’t go into any further detail, but at the end, I still felt kinda bad for Gary. He was very different from the dead man we met at the beginning of the story, but there was still a certain sadness about his predicament and his inability to master the art of being undead. Sorry, unliving.

But there’s much more to enjoy here than the sorrowful tale of a half-zombie! The other main character is equally (if not more by the end) likeable, and even most of the secondary and ancillary characters have plenty of, well, character. The plot itself is pretty original, and serves up a few light twists. Nothing that will change your life, but more than enough to keep you anxious to turn the next page.

The book is relatively short, clocking in at a mild 282 pages, and the chapters are a scrawny 4 to 7 pages long, making for tasty, coffee-break-sized reading morsels. If my language is confusing, I like these attributes. I don’t feel like reading a gigantic tome of a novel, and I hate setting a book down in the middle of a chapter. If the shortness of it is unattractive in any way, there are two sequels, Monster Nation and Monster Planet, but I haven’t even read summaries of those two yet (though I’ll say that I’m very much looking forward to them!). Monster Island is definitely a great way to spenad a little time, and I honestly haven’t read any other book in my spare time that I would recommend more. So hit the book store (or library if you’re cheap/uncertain) and pick up a copy as soon as you can.

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