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I like big books.

Monster Island: A Zombie Novel

Monster Island - David Wellington Acceptable zombie novel. I had a bit of a problem with the narrative style, which flipped back and forth between first and third person (there's a reason for it that I found rather quaint). I guess, like the star wars genre, I'm just a sucker for zombie stories, and this one, is ok.

There were certain moments however, where I felt that this was Wellington's expression of pure adolescent male fantasy. The story begins in Africa, where Dekalb and his daughter Sarah are white refugees in a Somali country (HA! look, Wellington knows how to do irony) run by a female warlord and her band of dedicated Muslim school girl soldiers (complete with plaid skirts and head wraps....yeah). Anyway, Dekalb has a problem, he worked for the UN before the epidemic, and the warlord has AIDS. So she makes a proposition: drugs for safety. There are no more drugs to be had in Africa, in fact, the only place Dekalb knows there are drugs is in the UN building in New York (a huge stretch in my opinion - what there were no drug manufacturers left in Europe?? and really, at the UN Secretariat building where they have high profile international meetings they just happen to keep a stock of AIDS fighting drugs??) SOOOOO, Dekalb sets off for the Big Apple with an army of 16 year old school girls with AK-47 assault rifles to find the drugs and fight the evil Gary (yes GARY) a sentient undead who is very, very hungry. So far my description reeks of male fantasy and you may wonder where the extra two stars comes from.

The answer is relatively simple, and maybe not all that justified, I liked the source of the epidemic. For once, it wasn't a virus or something government engineered. In fact, there's an air of unresolved mystery that Wellington doesn't even bother clarifying, confident in his ability to tell the story of the characters just placed in that situation (as unlikely as that may be). He does mention though, that the epidemic may be magical in origin, and Monster Island abounds with mystical forces connecting the undead, mummies, and Celtic druids, making for an interesting twist on the genre that I found kind of refreshing (like writing waaaaaayyyyy too many asides in parentheses). Anyway, it's acceptable enough that I'm kind of interested in the sequels (because, as if the genre isn't cliche enough, Wellington made his story a trilogy).