Monday, October 25, 2010

Night of the Living Trekkies : Book Review & Giveaway!

Last month I introduced a new writer and a new column here on Freddy In Space. One of my best friends, Jesse Bartel, joined the team and will be the official book reviewer for the blog. In addition to reviewing new genre books, Jesse has also recently decided to generously donate each book he reads to one of you guys, rather than holding onto them himself. Lets all say a big 'thank you Jesse' and then show our appreciation by reading his review of the new book Night of the Living Trekkies (Star Trek fanboys vs zombies!) and entering the giveaway afterwards!





Wow, what a fun read. This book is a great homage to everything geeky and “Star Trek” related while putting a bit of its own unique twist on the Sci-Fi/Horror/Comedy genre. Though it has a few issues in its writing there are plenty of laughs and exciting plot points to keep you turning the pages.

The story is focused on a young man named Jim Pike, who after being in the war in the Middle East is now working for a hotel. He gave up his love for Star Trek during the war, even though his knowledge is very extensive on the subject. The GulfCon is taking place one of the weekends he is working; GulfCon is a huge “Star Trek” convention in Houston, Texas and he is nostalgic after seeing all the characters he used to adore. Shortly after, people start feeling sick and not acting right and before you know it, there is a complete “zombie” outbreak in downtown Houston. I put the zombie in quotations because they are not just regular zombies and I don’t want to ruin it for you. The majority of the book takes place inside the hotel and provides for some interesting scenarios. Along the way Jim finds survivors and develops solid relationships with them. Shockingly, you actually care about the people and their outcome. END SUMMARY!

This book is funny, I mean that is really what its good at and it’s actually pretty gory at times which gives it a nice “horror” feel. The characters always talk about movies we know, like “Dawn of the Dead”, “Resident Evil”, and “28 Days Later”. I always thought it was weird that in zombie films, no one seems to talk about zombies as something they already extensively know. It’s as if no one has ever seen a zombie film or ever even heard of one in those movies, so the book is clever in applying pop-culture to its goofy premise. The greatest thing was that no one would break the character they dressed up as for the convention, even when fighting zombies. Being a fictional character gave the stories characters strength; they were a team and needed to work together. I can’t say never broke character; there are some actually pretty nice sentimental parts to the book about loss, love, change, and the burden of doing what no one can.

Though it is a book about “Star Trek” (and zombies), there is one character dressed as Princess Leia from “Star Wars”. She tends to quote lines from “Star Wars” films without really knowing who she is. Times like these make the corners of my mouth turn up with joy and I found myself doing a lot of that throughout the book at little winks and nods here and there. Although I didn’t grasp all the esoteric “Star Trek” references, I knew most and honestly I don't think you need to be a complete “Star Trek” geek to get this book.

In fact, in terms of context and being sort of topical, reading the book is similar to watching “Zombieland”, in the idea of balancing a bunch of different elements and giving you an overall thrill ride. We all know that there are consequences to that idea though.

There are issues I had with the book, one being the writing. It’s not terribly great or in anyways really complex but I am willing to overlook that because the book had only one goal: to entertain (it does)! The real problem I had with the novel was the last 40 pages or so. The book kind of collapses quickly and tries to give you some sort of muddy ending. The comedy drops mostly out in that time and the lack of it shows how bad the book would have been without the comedic value. I can’t really talk about the ending but it left something more to be desired.

BUT! The first 200 pages of the book are great and I hope one of you sexy readers gets their blood stained hands on this book. Overall, this is a must read to those who love comedy in their horror and want to be entertained. I guarantee that you will have a kick-ass time

PROS- Fun story, dialogue, and characters. Great humor and blood soaked scenes. Unique twist on the zombie genre.

CONS- Unfortunate last 40 pages or so. Not complex. Some jokes not relevant to all types of readers.

Happy Stabbings- Jesse


Sound like a book you'd be into reading? Then leave a comment below with your e-mail address and a brief explanation of why you want to read Night of the Living Trekkies!

Giveaway is open to everyone and will run through next Monday, November 1st. Good luck to all!


Andy said...

The cover alone sells the book, looks just like an old Gold Key Trek comic!

Can you imagine how lovely that would look as a print?


Mr. Mike D. said...

Honestly Johnny, I have only one reason why I want to read this book and I think its a good one: I have been a Star Wars guy my whole life, constantly making fun of Trekkies similarto the way Hutch & the guys did in FanBoys. Unfortunately, I wanted to hate JJ Abrhams version just because it was Trek... but it was so fucking good!!!! Now I feel I may be turning towards the Trek and innovative projects like this make me want to explore this foreign subject area against my better judgement. Thats my reason... hope its good enough. Later.

Mike D - CCD Baby!!!

Trick or Treat Pete said...

I want to read it because my first school girl crush when I was 6 was Chekov. I want to read it because I think Worf is the sexiest Klingon in history. I want to read it because I was an avid watcher of Star Trek TOS, TNG, Voyager, DS9, and The Animated Series. (sorry Enterprise, just couldn't get into that one)
I want to read it because anytime I get cut off on the freeway I scream "KHAN!!!!"
I want to read it because I know that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few( or the one).
I want to read it because I know that the first interacial kiss (besides Lucy and Ricky) was O'Hura and Kirk.
I want to read it because if it wasn't for Star Trek I wouldn't have gotten into Sci Fi as a kid and been led to POTA, Space:1999, Land of the Giants, Lost in Space, Logan's Run, Forbidden Planet, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Land of the Lost, Blade Runner, and a thousand other sci fi movies and tv shows I've watched over the years.
Ok, I think that's it.
Dreaded Dreams
Petunia Scareum

Anfang said...

Hey this isn't really post-related, but I thought I'd drop you a message to tell you I stumbled upon your little blog whilst at work yesterday, and I've been one hooked motherfucker. It's everything a girl could ever want in a blog :p I even called in sick to work today so I could stay home and wander through the pages of monstrous delight... Yes this is my life :p

Anfang said...

Oh, and give me the book!


I want to read it for no other reason than it is a book about Zombies!!! I try to reAd any and every book I can containing Zombies in hopes of picking up any small hints or tips when it comes to surviving the inevitable Zombie Apocolypse.


Johnny said...

Anfang - That is awesome and thank you so much for the kind words. Hope ya keep reading! =)

Jennifer said...

I'm not a big Trekkie fan but I love a good zombie book. It looks like a fun read!

Cait said...

Caitlin Miller

I pretty much love anything that involves the living dead!